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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grazinski - Hoax or Not

Some jokes I get sent by friends about so called real events are funny because they dwell on our readiness to believe that juries as an institution of the law are mindless collectives that accept what any thinking person would never do.

The story yesterday I have science checked out in Snopes.com (Rumour Has It) on http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/cruise.asp, tells us if we are having our legs pulled or not…

Here is an extract of what I found

Origins:   Brunvand, the master of urban legends, has a fair bit to say about this legend.
The legend began in the late 1970s when cruise control was first available for RVs (which then was the vehicle always featured in this legend).

In the spring of 2002, a telling of the venerable Cruise Control legend became part of a widely circulated "outrageous lawsuits" list known on the Internet as the "Stella Awards":

In November 2000, Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. ………………………….He was awarded $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago.

In September 2009, the Grazinski entry reappeared, this time changing the hapless driver into a woman:

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. …. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down? $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home

The Grazinski entry had been added to a compilation of other false entries — it was just another howler tacked on.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/cruise.asp#mI6Z4Xq2u4flJAWw.99