It is time for the 2011 Bella awards. Without further ado:
- #5: On October 10, 2010, after three days of deliberation, the jury read a verdict of $10.10 in an Atlanta, Georgia wrongful death case. Asked later, a juror said, “We are sorry that guy died. But the irony of awarding $10.10 was irresistible. We actually waited a few minutes to give our verdict at 10:10 a.m. Get it now? $10.10. Great, right?”
- #4: A jury in Orlando, Florida gave a defense verdict in a rear end accident case. The defendant claimed he put his Winnebago on cruise control and went back and made himself a sandwich. The jury agreed that it was reasonable to assume the cruise control would drive the Winnebago to its destination.
- #3: A Richmond, Virginia jury awards no damages to a 23-year-old pedestrian who was hit by an F-150 truck while walking on the sidewalk. The jury found the Plaintiff contributorily negligent because she was singing while she was walking.
- #2: Calvert County Maryland jury finds Defendant wrongfully shot plaintiff. With a gun. In the back. Jury awards $1.
- #1: Patient goes to Jackson, Mississippi hospital for gallbladder surgery. Doctor amputates leg. A Houston, Texas jury finds in favor of the doctor. Afterward, the jury told the gathered press: “Hey, anyone could make that mistake.”
The lack of supporting authority for these verdicts might concern some of you. They are real. In fact, they were fact-checked by the same faithful scholars who send out those Stella award emails.
When you are trying to spread misinformation, one key is to always sprinkle in a bit of truth. This is why #2 is a real story with an actual link. (I have no idea whether the jury’s verdict was fair. It sounds crazy, but could it be a juror compromise of a case where there should have been a defense verdict, anyway? I don’t know. Either way, let’s not let nuance impede my straw man.)
Ultimately, the reason the Stella and Bella awards have to manufacturer cases is that, much more often than not, the American people – and by extension, juries – are smart and do the right thing.
Let’s get a real buzz going. Email this to your friends, hit the “Like” and the “Tweet” buttons above, and let’s get the word out about these verdicts.