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Law Damages Cookie Story

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#1 Kimmer

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 01:27 PM

You have to register, but here's the link to the story.


Quote

Colo. girls aided in cookie penalty costs
By ROBERT WELLER, Associated Press Writer
Last Updated 8:03 pm PST Thursday, February 10, 2005
DENVER (AP) - Two teenagers whose anonymous gift of cookies sent a frightened woman to the hospital - costing the girls $930 in medical claims - have gotten donations to cover the bill and vowed Thursday to "keep giving."

"We aren't discouraged by this," said Taylor Ostergaard after receiving a donation.

"We felt sorry for her and we still feel sorry," Jo Zellitti added. "We didn't want to cause this lady any harm at all."

The pair, both 18, decided to bake cookies as a surprise treat for neighbors in July, placing them outside with big paper hearts stating, "Have a great night," and signed, "Love, The T and L Club."

Neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, said she heard banging on the door and saw "shadowy figures" who didn't answer her calls. Frightened, she spent the night at her sister's, and then went to the hospital the next day with an upset stomach, still shaking from fear.

The case wound up in court, with a judge earlier this month declining to award punitive damages but ordering the girls to pay Young's medical bills.

In the aftermath, the girls became minor celebrities - a cookie company even created a "kindness cookie" in their honor - and received donations to pay the medical claims.

Young and her husband, Herb, say they've been hit by a backlash.

"We have got horrendous phone calls, tons of hate mail, threats to our life," Herb Young said in a telephone interview Thursday.

"I don't believe the girls meant for this to happen. But they could have prevented it from happening if they had just shut their mouths when they came out of (small claims) court. Now they are caught in something they can't control."

The parents of one of the teens asked for a restraining order against Herb Young, accusing him of making harassing calls.

He admitted calling the Ostergaards once after hearing the teens were talking to a newspaper, and at one point saying "the gloves (are) off," which apparently was taken as a threat.


#2 GoldenCoal

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:09 PM

Do you know what? People seem to be flinging death threats around so wildly that if I ever get one I suppose I'll just yawn...

#3 WildChildCait

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:18 PM

and why shouldn't the girls talk about this idiocy? They have the right to, i believe.

And if that ditzy woman gets caught in the backlash, well, maybe she should have considered that when she took them to court.
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#4 Nonprofit

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:30 PM

The cookie girls were on the Fox News channel yesterday afternoon via satellite.

A local radio station started taking donations to paid the $900.00 for them and has  raised over $5,000.00.  Thes rest of the money will be going to a scholarship fund.

I sure wouldn't keep quiet if this happen to me.  Esp if I had a chance to be on TV to tell my side.  I'm not surpried of a backlash against the Youngs.  What did they expect. Duh!

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#5 tennyson

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:33 PM

So they did include a note, then I don'y particlarly find fault with the action even if the execution needed work.
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#6 Tricia

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 03:12 PM

Um....and why shouldn't the girls have said anything when they came out of court?

Mrs. Young sure didn't keep her mouth shut about the case either....she was quoted in the original articles I saw about this...and her comments were what irritated me...something about her phrasing or choice of words maybe..not sure..

But why should she have been allowed to talk to the press and not expect the girls to do the same?

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#7 JadziaDax

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 05:29 PM

Quote

"But they could have prevented it from happening if they had just shut their mouths when they came out of (small claims) court. Now they are caught in something they can't control."

The parents of one of the teens asked for a restraining order against Herb Young, accusing him of making harassing calls.

He admitted calling the Ostergaards once after hearing the teens were talking to a newspaper, and at one point saying "the gloves (are) off," which apparently was taken as a threat.


I'm sorry, this to me proves to me this person's a b*****.

I support the girls, they did nothing wrong...stupid, yes, wrong, no...and even offered to cover the bills, but this older lady seems to be hell bent on being a nasty person. I don't feel sorry for her anymore. I've had panic attacks before, and I know how much they can suck, but seriosuly, she needs to grow up.

Edited by JadziaDax, 11 February 2005 - 05:32 PM.

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#8 Godeskian

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 06:43 PM

Quote

"But they could have prevented it from happening if they had just shut their mouths when they came out of (small claims) court. Now they are caught in something they can't control."

She is talking about the girls, but i thinkt he quote is more applicable to hereself. She is caught in something she can't control. I don't particularly approve of death threats, but to frankly expect others to bend over and say 'thank you ma'am, may I have another' when you sue them for trying to be nice is naive at best.

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#9 eloisel

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 02:18 PM

Cookie Girls

Quote

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.

Yep, these girls have learned a lesson.  It is a nice thing to harass people in the middle of the night and if the person you are harassing doesn't like it or is harmed by it, so what?  If you are young and cute, don't attend parties where people might be drinking and cussing, others will say you were just being nice and the person you harassed was a nut case and deserves to be harassed further.

#10 ZipperInt

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 04:07 PM

Giving cookies = harassment?

Well intentioned (but perhaps ill executed) gesture = court case?

No wonder this world is the way it is.
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#11 eloisel

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:18 PM

Banging on someone's door in the middle of the night and running away = nice?

Still, I wonder why it took the families 3 days to respond to what had happened to Ms. Young.  Apparently either one of them is an attorney, has legal experience, or they sought out legal advice.  Their offer to pay Ms. Young's medical expenses came attached to a release and indemnity clause.

I'm curious to know, too, how the girls discovered the ramifications of their late night knock-fest and how Ms. Young discovered who they were.

What bothers me most about this whole thing is not what the girls did - which was not with malicious and evil intent - or what Ms. Young did - which I think was to get her grievance heard.  It is the mob mentality that has exploded around it which is malicious and full of evil intent.  Not just on internet message boards but in mainstream newspapers and on mainstream TV too.  I wonder just how many people spewing so much hatred and advocating further harm to Ms. Young complain about war and preach peace on a global scale but obviously don't practice what they preach when it comes to the local level.

#12 ZipperInt

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 03:01 AM

I'd agree that knocking on someone's door at night (I can't see where it said 'the middle of the night' though) and running away was definitely not the best way for the girls to be friendly to their neighbours, even if I still don't agree that taking them to court was the proper way to deal with it.

I'd also agree that the mob mentality which has targetted Ms. Young is the worst result of this entire situation.
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#13 Cheile

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 04:30 AM

eloisel, on Feb 12 2005, 09:18 PM, said:

I'm curious to know, too, how the girls discovered the ramifications of their late night knock-fest and how Ms. Young discovered who they were.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


i read something elsewhere that said Ms. Young inadvertently found out by speaking to the mother of Taylor Ostergaard.  my guess is after she got over her anxiety attack or whatever, she asked around.

as for not apologizing in person, a lawyer advised the family not to approach this crazy woman in person and to write those apology letters instead.  so if Ms. Young had a problem with the letters, she should have spoken to the girls' attorney.

while i do not agree with the harassment Ms. Young is receiving, she should have thought of that before putting these girls through hell just because she worked herself up over a late night treat delivery.

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#14 Josh

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 04:35 AM

I have very little sympathy for this woman.
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#15 Cheile

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 04:35 AM

oh i just love this part from the end of the article here:

Quote

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.

trying to make herself sound good--like she REALLY cared about those girls.  :grr:  ten to one if some psycho actually had interrupted their cookie run and kidnapped/raped/murdered one or both of them, she wouldn't have given a flying flip.

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#16 Tricia

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 10:01 AM

It doesn't matter at this point who was right or wrong....a well intentioned deed went wrong.  Whether it was a late night delivery or someone overreacting to the situation it doesn't matter

I think this woman was wrong to take these girls to court over this after apologies were made and the offer of paying her medical bills was made.

The girls shouldn't have been out running about making these cookie deliveries this late at night. It could have waited until very early the next morning.

But what's done is done.  The woman's address and phone number should not have been put on the Internet. There is no justification for this.

But blame the media if you must blame someone.  How else would any of us known about this if they hadn't done a story somewhere that turned into this runaway train.

And since it did go to court...the judge made a decision and it is a matter of record.  The judge awarded the woman her medical bills and court costs....which is exactly what the parents had planned on paying anyway. She didn't get a dime more for emotional distress or whatever she was calling it.  

And as to the parents seeking legal advice....they don't tell us what was said between the parents, girls and Mrs Young....for all we know she made some threats as to legal action beyond this.  Maybe angry threats she had no intention of carrying thru with but that were verbalized in the heat of the moment.  So they tried to protect their children and themselves.

A lot of bad choices were made on both sides.  It would be over and done if not for all the media frenzy.

Edited by trikay, 13 February 2005 - 10:04 AM.

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#17 Bad Wolf

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 11:52 AM

I'm no fan of mob mentality and death threats are wrong period.

However let's see:  The woman insisted on making it a lawsuit even AFTER the girls' parents offered to settle by paying her medical bills.  SHE, not the girls chose the public forum.

The woman asked for PUNITIVE damages, clearly demonstrating that her intent was to punish rather than seek reasonable compensation.

The woman talked to the press about it and characterized it as an exercise in teaching the girls a lesson.

Lesson learned I'd say.



Lil

Edited by Una Salus Lillius, 13 February 2005 - 11:53 AM.

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#18 Cheile

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:20 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Feb 13 2005, 09:52 AM, said:

I'm no fan of mob mentality and death threats are wrong period.

However let's see:  The woman insisted on making it a lawsuit even AFTER the girls' parents offered to settle by paying her medical bills.  SHE, not the girls chose the public forum.

The woman asked for PUNITIVE damages, clearly demonstrating that her intent was to punish rather than seek reasonable compensation.

The woman talked to the press about it and characterized it as an exercise in teaching the girls a lesson.

Lesson learned I'd say.



Lil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


can you believe the woman was trying to make them pay for outside motion-sensor lights to be installed, among other things?  the extras the judge didn't allow ran to the tune of three thousand dollars.

lesson learned indeed.  that being a b*tch will get you NO sympathy.

she cries in another article abt the likelihood of having to move.  she has no one to blame but herself.

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#19 Nonny

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:23 PM

Cheile, on Feb 13 2005, 10:20 AM, said:

lesson learned indeed.  that being a b*tch will get you NO sympathy.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not true.  The more I read about this, the more she has mine.  I am sorry I ever inadvertently started this hate-fest by posting the original thread before I knew her side.  

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#20 Cheile

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:24 PM

Quote

But what's done is done. The woman's address and phone number should not have been put on the Internet. There is no justification for this.

correct me if i'm wrong on this instance, but isn't every phone book now online?  if their number is listed in their local/county book, all some angry person would have to do is look it up.  if it was UNlisted, that's another story.

Quote

But blame the media if you must blame someone. How else would any of us known about this if they hadn't done a story somewhere that turned into this runaway train.

they didn't hand out the woman's address and number to the Internet.  they did a story.  the fault is HERS for being a drama queen.

you even said earlier why did she have a right saying the girls could not speak when she was standing there badmouthing them to reporters?  she brought this all on herself.

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