This is _not_ true.

I was recently pointed towards the This is True site. Apparently, the columnist, Randy Cassingham, is now bestowing Stella Awards.

What I find particularly irksome, is his claim that “We search for true cases.” How much searching did he do on the case for which the awards are named?

What an astonishingly ugly website.

About as much as “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction”…“This one’s true, folks … we found it in a newspaper.”


He does provide a correction (if you follow the links) but keeps the association between her case and frivolous lawsuits.

I know this issue has been debated here on the boards, but the case is still controversial and many legal professionals and law professors do not agree that Ms. Liebeck should have been awarded damages. Several courts have rejected similar types of claims.

Obviously, the site you linked to agrees with the courts that have rejected the claims.

I must be missing something here.

I clicked the link, and it took me to a sit which was obviously intended to be humorous.

So, what’s the objection? Either he knows that these “news” items are false and is making fun of them, or he’s just making things up.

Where is the problem?

I don’t think that’s at all obvious, Zoff, if you read their page about the case. They’re simply acknowledging that, rightly or wrongly, that case has become a poster child for tort reform. The description of the case that they provide gives both sides of the debate in about as objective terms as could be given.

xc, I haven’t seen the Stella Awards newsletter, but from the This Is True publications I’ve seen over a number of years, Randy Cassingham appears to be a conscientious researcher and journalist. I’d suggest subscribing and reviewing the reports presented for accuracy, rather than basing your opinion on the advertising and name choice.

He has an e-mail subscription list and I was sent the following spam as part of a mass e-mailing:
"The guy who runs the THIS IS TRUE mailing list is now doing one covering lawsuits that waste the court’s time. The Stella awards are named after Stella Liebeck, who got almost $3 million for pouring hot coffee in her lap.

Well researched (there are no urban legends on this list)…"
(bolding mine)
Seems like more than a few people take him seriously.
The dolt who sent me this has been thorougly chastised.

The subsequent e-mail xcheopsis received tends to indicate that he thinks the McDonald’s case was wrongly decided. But my real point was that xcheopsis seemed to be implying that there was something untrue about the case.

The case is real so I assumed xcheopsis was saying that the case wasn’t wrongly decided and so should not be used as an example. I really just meant to point out that the theory the court used is still debated and several other courts have disagreed. So the site isn’t being untrue, it’s stating an opinion.

I still don’t quite get xcheopsis’s beef. If you disagree with the author’s view that the outcome was ridiculous, that’s fine. But you seem to be saying that he’s untruthful or hasn’t fully researched the issue. Well, the facts are on his own site. Reasonable people can view the same facts and disagree as to how the legal system should handle the lawsuit.

I understand. But I’d still like to point out (for the record, to anyone reading this) that Cassingham’s opinion of the title case is not clear on the website. The quote from the e-mail is without a doubt an opinion of the person who sent the spam e-mail. And Cassingham is certainly not the source of that-you can read a bit about his opinion of spam here .

SCSimmons, the site is for case that are frivolous and waste the courts time. That is not true of the Stella case, however.

From the site:

The wording is rather disingenuous (although I don’t know if that’s deliberate.) Most people are not familiar enough with legal terms to know that a jury award doesn’t translate into actual money granted. Notice how quickly “awarded” become “got” in the e-mail I received.

It would be nice if others who also received the e-mail had followed all the links but not one of them did. They took the wording at its (perceived) face value.

The site is dedicated to “any wild, outrageous, or ridiculous lawsuits”. How that is defined is open for debate, but you seem to be arguing that he’s objectively wrong in labelling the case as wild, outrageous, or ridiculous. I don’t see how you can say he’s being untrue. He’s (arguably) expressing an opinion.

I’m familiar with legal terms and I don’t see how it’s disingenuous. The jury awarded the woman $2.9 million. The judge reduced the amount awarded, but the jury still awarded $2.9 million. Part of the problem many people have with the tort system is the perception of runaway juries.

Could you re-state your problem again? I’m a subscriber to his lists, after being pointed to them by someone on this board. He does do research, and dedicates part of his website to debunking urban legend stories.

So, do you dislike that he chose that particular case for the title? Why? It is the standard layman’s frivolous lawsuit, even if it may not be on closer inspection. I’ve corrected people on here for using it as their standard ‘stupid lawsuit’ and I have no problem with the name.

Have you read one of the issues?