Weird News Stories

When Judges get it Wrong

posted by Chris Valentine

People rely on the law for justice, but in modern times this system has become unreliable. Wacky rulings decided by judges, coupled with idiotic law suits, have made a mockery of the judicial system. Some recent cases highlight how far astray we have gone;

In England, it was recently ruled that a drunk driver could live in his car! Just a little bit of irony there! Polish lorry driver, 24-year-old Egidijus Sakalauska was banned from using his car for 14 months for drink driving. Pulled over shortly after midnight, he measured 54mg alcohol in his blood in a standard breath test, well above the 35 mg limit. He was fined £300 for his infringement and banned from driving any vehicle. Sakalauska came to Tilbury, Essex three months ago and has lived in his car since. Whether his sob story was the contributing factor that encouraged the judge to allow him to continue living in his car, or the judge is naive, we won’t know.

At this in that example, a law was broken. Not the case for a 79 women Stella Liebeck in the U.S.A. In a ridiculously outrageous lawsuit, Stella Liebeck became famous for taking McDonald’s to court in an attempt to sue them. Here’s why: the old lady spilled a cup of coffee on her lap that she had just ordered in a McDonald’s drive through, while sitting motionless in her parked car. In fairness, Liebeck suffered severe burns as a result, with her inner thighs, groins and buttocks being so badly affected she required a week long treatment in hospital. After being discharged she contacted McDonald’s for compensation (of her inability to hold a cup?). However, the restaurant chain felt no need to compensate her for her incompetence and medical bills so they took her to court. The trial itself continued for a week and Liebeck was awarded by jury to get $160,000 for compensatory damages as well as $2.7 million reduced later to $480,000 for punitive damages.

This case became so famous in the country that this story was parodied in many late-night comedies and popular TV shows and a documentary called “Hot Coffee” has been released. The Stella Awards were created and awarded to individuals who make ridiculous and outrageous lawsuits. This case provoked outrage in America, although many consider Stella Liebeck to be a victim.

These are by no means the worst cases though. Perhaps the most shocking in recent time is the case of the Chinese family, where innocent children will always feel victimized and ugly by their vain father. Jian Feng married his beautiful wife and became the perfect-looking Chinese couple, until she gave birth to an “incredibly ugly” girl. Jian Feng considers himself so handsome that at first he believed his three children to be the product of his wife’s affair with an ugly man, until a DNA test proved otherwise. Feng admits that he is horrified by their appearance. Searching for a solution, Feng’s wife eventually revealed a secret she had been harboring since they met: that she spent about $100,000 for cosmetic surgery done before she met him for the first time. This was enough reason for the father to sue her for giving him false pretenses and hiding the truth about her real appearance from him. These arguments were accepted by the judge, who ordered the wife to pay more than $120,000 to his cheated husband for bearing him 3 hideous children. Some find the most shocking aspect of this story the fact that Feng won, the judge and Feng clearly disregarding the feelings of the three children entirely! Although Feng had some audacity to sue his wife for ugly children…

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