Woman sues 2 teenager girls for dropping off cookies... - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-04-2005, 06:27 PM   #1
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Woman sues 2 teenager girls for dropping off cookies...

Two Durango teens thought they'd surprise neighbors with nighttime deliveries of home-baked treats. But one woman was so terrified, she sued and has won.

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,...691638,00.html


Durango - Two teenage girls decided one summer's evening to skip a dance where there might be cursing and drinking to stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Big mistake.

They were sued, successfully, for an unauthorized cookie drop on one porch.

The July 31 deliveries consisted of half a dozen chocolate-chip and sugar cookies accompanied by big hearts cut out of red or pink construction paper with the message: "Have a great night."

The notes were signed, "Love, The T and L Club," code for Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitti, 18.

Inside one of the nine scattered rural homes south of Durango that got cookies that night, a 49-year-old woman became so terrified by the knocks on her door around 10:30 p.m. that she called the sheriff's department. Deputies determined that no crime had been committed.

But Wanita Renea Young ended up in the hospital emergency room the next day after suffering a severe anxiety attack she thought might be a heart attack.

A Durango judge Thursday awarded Young almost $900 to recoup her medical bills. She received nothing for pain and suffering.

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

Taylor's mother, Jill Ostergaard, said her daughter "cried and cried" after Judge Doug Walker handed down his decision in La Plata County Small Claims Court.

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

The judge said that he didn't think the girls acted maliciously but that it was pretty late at night for them to be out. He didn't award any punitive damages.

Taylor and Lindsey declined to comment Thursday, saying only that they didn't want to say anything hurtful.

Young said the girls showed "very poor judgment."

But Taylor had asked her father's permission to bake cookies for the neighbors after livestock-tending chores were done.

"I said, 'Go ahead, as long as I get some cookies,"' Richard Ostergaard said Thursday.

Just as dusk arrived a little after 9 p.m., Taylor and Lindsey began their mad spree. They didn't stop at houses that were dark. But where lights shone, the girls figured people were awake and in need of cookies. A kitchen light was on at Young's home.

Court records contain half a dozen letters from neighbors who said that they enjoyed the unexpected treats.

The cookies were good. It was a nice surprise. They weren't scared.

But Young, home with her own 18-year-old daughter and her elderly mother, said she saw shadowy figures who banged and banged at her door. When she called out, "Who's there?" no one answered. The figures ran off.

She thought perhaps they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said.

"We just wanted to surprise them," Taylor said.

Young left her home that night to stay at her sister's, but her symptoms, including shaking and an upset stomach, wouldn't subside. The next morning she went to Mercy Medical Center.

"We feel that knocking on a door and leaving cookies is a gesture of kindness and would not create an anxiety attack in the general public," Taylor's parents wrote to the court.

The girls wrote letters of apology to Young. Taylor's letter, written a few days after the episode, said in part: "I didn't realize this would cause trouble for you. ... I just wanted you to know that someone cared about you and your family."

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims.

Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person. The matter went to court.

Young said she believes that the girls should not have been running from door to door late at night.

"Something bad could have happened to them," she said.



Wow...that woman sure is living the American Dream, ain't she
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:29 PM   #2
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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no good deed goes unpunished...
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:45 PM   #4
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Just saw that one over on LiveJournal.

Simply astounding. I cannot believe the judge ruled against the teenage girls. Thoroughly ridiculous and bizarre.
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Old 02-04-2005, 07:12 PM   #5
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That is fucked up!
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Old 02-04-2005, 07:19 PM   #6
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One would think that when she went outside (hell, she went out to go to her sister's house) and found the damned cookies and note she would have gotten a clue.

And the families offered to pay her medical bills, but she chose to sue when the apologies weren't delivered in person. Ha! I sure wouldn't deliver her anything in person.

I live in a really rural place and have occasionally had someone come knocking at the door late at night. It can be a bit unsettling, but I sure wouldn't sure anyone for bringing me cookies.
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Old 02-04-2005, 07:31 PM   #7
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The Judge is obviously in the pocket of the Girl Scouts.
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:33 PM   #8
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OK, this whole article has made lose faith in the legal system and I am now clinically depressed so I can't go to work and make a living.

I'm gonna sue Catman for bringing this to my attention.






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Old 02-04-2005, 08:43 PM   #9
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What, they forgot to bring milk?


This case is the result of years of the plaintiff's bar creating and pushing new legal theories for liability.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:47 PM   #10
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How the hell is the onus on these two girls to know that this lady in the house is a fucking paranoiac?

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Old 02-04-2005, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
OK, this whole article has made lose faith in the legal system and I am now clinically depressed so I can't go to work and make a living.

I'm gonna sue Catman for bringing this to my attention.
The sad thing is you probably could make a case out of it
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:19 PM   #12
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That is jacked
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:21 PM   #13
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It bugs the heck out of me all the people that sue for the dumbest reasons, greedy sons of dogs
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by macphisto23
It bugs the heck out of me all the people that sue for the dumbest reasons, greedy sons of dogs
I fear where this trend will lead.
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 02-04-2005, 10:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
How the hell is the onus on these two girls to know that this lady in the house is a fucking paranoiac?

It is the "fragile vase" theory. A weakness does not need to be apparent for liability to attach.
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