Girls sued for delivering cookies
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Thread: Girls sued for delivering cookies

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Girls sued for delivering cookies

    I'm sorry but America is weird. I've heard of suing at the drop of the hat but never thought it actually happened. I mean, come on. They were being good Samaritans and "right neighbourly" and they get sued over it?!

    Source: CNN

    Friday, February 4, 2005 Posted: 4:15 PM EST (2115 GMT)

    DURANGO, Colorado (AP) -- Two teenage girls who surprised their neighbors with homemade cookies late one night were ordered to pay nearly $900 in medical bills for a woman who says she was so startled that she had to go to the hospital.

    Judge Doug Walker declined Thursday to award punitive damages, saying he did not believe the girls acted maliciously.

    Taylor Ostergaard, 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitti, 18, baked the chocolate chip and sugar cookies one night last July.

    They made packages with a half-dozen cookies each and added large red or pink construction-paper hearts that carried the message, "Have a great night."

    The notes were signed with their first initials: "Love, The T and L Club."

    Then they set off to make their deliveries.

    Wanita Renea Young, 49, said she was at her rural home south of Durango around 10:30 p.m. when she said saw "shadowy figures" outside the house banging repeatedly on her door.

    She yelled, "Who's there?" but no one answered, and the figures ran away.

    Frightened, she spent the night at her sister's home, then went to the hospital the next morning because she was still shaking and had an upset stomach.

    The teenagers' families offered to pay Young's medical bills, but she declined and sued, saying their apologies were not sincere and were not offered in person.

    The girls declined comment after the ruling. Taylor's mother said the girl "cried and cried."

    "She felt she was being punished for doing something nice," Jill Ostergaard said.

    Young said the teenagers showed "very poor judgment"

    "The victory wasn't sweet," Young said. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."

    The teens said they did not answer when the woman called out because they wanted the treats to be a surprise.
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  2. #2
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    As the saying goes MsMittens...a good deed never goes unpunished.

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry but America is weird. I've heard of suing at the drop of the hat but never thought it actually happened. I mean, come on. They were being good Samaritans and "right neighbourly" and they get sued over it?!
    Well I gotta tell you that there is no other place I would want to live, however... things have really changed in the last 20 years.
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  4. #4
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    maybe they made bad cookies, but i would like to try some of their baked goods :-) it was a stupid lawsuit though. and even more stupid that the lady actually won it. what is America coming too?
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  5. #5
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    ATTN: The Texan

    Judge Doug Walker declined Thursday to award punitive damages, saying he did not believe the girls acted maliciously.
    No damages were awarded...



    Brings to mind THIS STORY
    Always happens, I get all worked up to say somthing profound and bam!!! uh... whut were we talkin bout?

  6. #6
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    bigb - I hate to refute you, but....

    DURANGO, Colorado (AP) -- Two teenage girls who surprised their neighbors with homemade cookies late one night were ordered to pay nearly $900 in medical bills for a woman who says she was so startled that she had to go to the hospital.
    damages WERE awarded. Punitive damages were not. There's a difference -

    Actual damages are the loss incurred by an injured party, and include lost wages, medical bills, property repair costs, etc.

    Punitive damages are extra damages awarded at the judge's discretion to cover such intrinsic things as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other things that cannot directly have a price tag affixed.

    Basically the girls had to pay her medical bills.

    Now in my mind, this was the prime example of an idiotic lawsuit, but there's a few things that weren't covered in the article which could have bearing, and therefore make the case legitimate. Those things being:

    1. The girls delivered the cookies at around 10:30 at night.
    Since it was after the supper hour, there's good reason to believe these girls could have been up to no good - and a good lawyer could influence a jury to believe such a thing. The later in the evening it was, the more chance of this happening...and the more chance the 'victim' was scared into such a fright. Understand that little old ladies go to bed before 10:00 pm, and that little teenage girls don't seem to understand this. This is probably why the judge believed there was no malicious intent, but still found for the plaintiff.

    2. Did these two girls have any history whatsoever of causing mischief in the neighborhood?
    If they had, would you want a known mischief maker coming up to your house in the middle of the night unbidden?

    3. Is the neighborhood in question in a high or medium crime area?
    If so, there were STRONG grounds for the lady's panic attack.

    4. Was the victim bedridden or unable to 'fend for herself' in defense of her home (IE: did she have a gun, or was she capable of taking care of a dog, or picking up the phone and calling 911?)
    If the victim was unable this strengthens her case. If she was able and had such means available to her, it weakens it.

    5. Did the victim in question have a history of panic attacks or panic calls to 911?
    If the victim had a documented history of panic attacks, her case is again strengthened. If she had a long history of 'crying wolf' to the police, the victim's credibility is weakened.

    See what I'm digging at here? What the girls were accused of doing and what they were actually doing might have been two entirely different things...in this case they most likely were trying to do something nice for their neighbor, however the 'little old victim lady' went into such a panic that she incurred medical expenses at the actions of these two young ladies. The young ladies should bear the liability imho, and the judgement was sound, as stupid as this entire lawsuit was.
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    Now that's much better...stick to the facts...I have to agree for the most part with l3lacklce...although it was a good deed...and it was a stupid lawsuit...the girl's made one mistake, which wasn't apparent till l3lacklce brought it up...

    as a Charity Co-Ordinator myself it is frowned upon to knock on doors or phone or solicit in any manner after 9 pm, in fact, some communities have bi-laws against it...if it had been at 6 pm rather than 10:30 pm the girl's probably wouldn't even have to cover the medical...I think the hour is what did them in.

  8. #8
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    I hope the old hag gets mugged and robbed while her neighbors
    look the other way "not wanting to get involved"

    Why do you think no one wants to help a stranger in distress any more?
    If a tornado knocks her house down, she'd prolly sue the rescue squad
    for trespassing. Nasty old witch.
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  9. #9
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    Understand that little old ladies go to bed before 10:00 pm, and that little teenage girls don't seem to understand this.
    She's 49, that hardly qualifies her for "little old lady" status.

    2. Did these two girls have any history whatsoever of causing mischief in the neighborhood?
    If they had, would you want a known mischief maker coming up to your house in the middle of the night unbidden?
    Now, I don't know for certain...but teen-age girls who are at home on a weekend night baking cookies to surprise their neighbors with don't neccesarily fit the profile of most teen delinquents.

    The girls wanted it to be a surprise, so they did it after dark and didn't answer when called to. It may not have been the best judgement call ever, but nothing to sue over. They're teen-agers, they're meant to have bad judgement. At least theirs came in the form of delivering surprise cookies at 10:30, not driving drunk or something.

    And the girls parents offered to pay the old b*tches medical bills to begin with.
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  10. #10
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    She'd never get away with it here...it's very hard to win even a good lawsuit in Canada...and judge's aren't inclined to award big paydays even if you do win. I've heard of cases here where someone won a lawsuit and ended up owing money...and it's not uncommon.

    Like I said...the girl's made one bad judgment call...wrong time...and the woman took advantage and tried to milk it for what she could...personally she shouldn't have gotten anything and should have apologised to the girls...but what can you expect when everytime you turn on an American T.V. station you see a lawyer telling you how much money they can get you if you sue. Up until very recently, lawyers, doctors, etc...weren't even allowed to advertise their services in Canada.

    As for l3lacklce...I think he was just trying to play the devil's advocate...I don't think he was suggesting that they might be true...or at least that was my impression.

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