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  1. #1
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    Default Colorado Woman Sues Teens for baking cookies

    Our legal system at work....

    Cookie klatch lands girls in court

    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.

    By Electa Draper
    Denver Post Staff Writer

    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.


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    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.
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk TheresOnlyOneWay's Avatar
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    I think we should just sticky the drudgereport.com to the top, eh? That being said, this is a perfect example of what is wrong in the country today. The fact that she won shows the problem runs pretty freakin' deep.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough Phatie's Avatar
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    I hope the Judge realizes that this will emotionall scar those girls for the rest of their lives, and they will be afraid to do nice things for people as long as they live. Poor judgement!

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight smcomics's Avatar
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    what the hell is worn with that woman???

    shes just out to make a buck.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    A human being of a judge would have LAUGHED that out of court. I hope the girls continue to spread joy to others with their cookies.

    That judge and the woman who sued should be ashamed of themselves.
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  6. #6
    Eruption Junior's Avatar
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    What an impossible bitch. You can't even do something nice anymore without risking a lawsuit. They chose to bake cookies for their neighbors rather than go to a party. That kind of thing is rare now-a-day's and should be rewareded.

    I hope that bitch chokes on whatever bullshit she buys with her money.

  7. #7
    The Frantic Antic TopTimi's Avatar
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    I guess I'll just stick with ringing door bells with a flaming bag of dog poop on the doorstep. At least I know I won't get in any kind of trouble.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Johnson Rod Pabs's Avatar
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    Cookies rule. I want some.
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    The Pilgrims/Americans/Somersets whatever you want to call them, have NEVER displayed "SOX" anywhere on their caps, jerseys, or merchandise, therefore they shouldn't be referred to as such. However, the White Sox have used "SOX" since 1912.

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    While I don't agree for a moment that a suit should have been filed, is anyone going to comment that running around at 10 pm knocking on doors with plates of cookies isn't a very bright thing to do?

    And them not answering and running away when the woman called out "who's there" certainly could be misinterpreted. That was exceedingly poor judgement on the girls' part.

    The judge awarded medical costs only, nobody "made" any money here. Once it got to the judge, I don't have an issue with that ruling. The girls should have answered when the woman called out. If someone hammers on your door at a fairly late hour, then runs away when you call out, and you suffer real medical costs as a result, you don't think you should get them?

    Not to mention that I don't think I'd have eaten some plate of cookies that show up in the middle of the night when I didn't know where they came from, LOL.

  11. #11
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    I disagree. The girls' parents offered to pay the woman's hospital bills. That should have been enough. The fact that the woman went on with the suit "to teach them a lesson" really describes her character. In the context of what happened, the girls were thinking this would be a "pleasant surprise" and in no way could they have forseen or predicted that the lady would react the way that she did. The other neighbors wrote letters praising the girls. And for the judge to rule in her favor is just blatant ignorance. 10:30 p.m. in my neck of the woods is not considered late. That lady needs to take the compensatory damages she was awarded and seek counseling. I hope the girls get famous and do the talk show circuit and that the woman continues to have her name blasted in the media. Karma's a bitch.
    Last edited by mk5; 02.04.05 at 12:06 PM.
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Again, I never said I agreed with the woman who sued. But just because she was wrong, doesn't mean the girls were completely without fault. Had those girls gotten themselves mugged or hit by a car or something, we'd be talking about their poor judgement.

  13. #13
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IED
    Again, I never said I agreed with the woman who sued.
    IED, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to debate you personally. For some reason the whole scenario just flabbergasts me. It's like hearing about criminals who break into peoples' homes and sue the very people they were robbing after injuring themselves, and getting a judgment. It probably doesn't help that I work for a defense firm either.

    I see the points you are trying to make, [there's always 2 sides to every story (or III for you Extreme fans)] but if I was the family of the kids, the second that lady turned down my offer to pay all her medical bills, I'd have hired a lawyer and counterclaimed with a frivolous lawsuit. Her added defense costs would have probably caused her to hire a lawyer or drop the case, being she lives in a single-wide. The case would eventually be dropped, but not after running up that lady's checkbook! (At least that's how I would dream it up...)
    Last edited by mk5; 02.04.05 at 01:33 PM.
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  14. #14
    Eruption Infinite Cactus's Avatar
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    Wow, I hate everyone now.... I really want that woman to get punched in her face....
    I can't even talk this is so stupid
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk5

    Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person.
    ....but if they WOULD'VE been delivered in person, this dumb cunt would've sued them again!
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