You may be aware of an email chain going around that discusses something known as the Stella Awards. They are supposedly given out to the most outlandish and frivolous lawsuits filed in the U.S. every year. What you may not know is the Stella Awards aren’t real.
For years, emails touting the Stella Awards have been circulated and citizens, including the press, have taken them at face value as real, true-life cases. The fact is, the “cases” outlined by these Stella Awards emails have been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, many are unaware of this and end up passing these emails on, unknowingly becoming a cog in the insurance and big business tort reform machine.
Sadly, this has been the tort reform strategy for more than a decade. Proponents of tort reform, led by men such as Karl Rove, learned early on the value in shaping public opinion in regards to the civil justice system; YOUR civil justice system. In fact, the Stella Awards refers to the now infamous and grossly distorted Stella Liebeck Case, or as you may know it, the “Hot Coffee” case.
The Hot Coffee case has long been a tool used to convince Americans of a need for litigation and tort reform. The fact is, much of what was reported about the case was intentionally misleading and misrepresented. You can read more about the case here, but the Liebeck case was far from frivolous and should have never been the catalyst for tort reform that it became.
The civil justice system can protect itself and tort reform was never needed. What big business needed was a way to protect its bottom line and take away the only line of defense consumers had to protect itself from negligence. The belief that costs were a product of unnecessary litigation is a false. For example, since Texas enacted strict tort reforms and caps on damages, not only have healthcare costs risen, but they have done so at a higher rate than the rest of the country.
You are encouraged to not only disregard the bogus Stella Awards, but also inform your friends of the fact surround the so-called awards. It is time for consumers to get the full, factual story regarding tort reform and THEIR civil justice system. It is time to stop spreading such a damaging and misleading piece of propaganda.