Random Act Of Kindness Turns Bitter-Sweet: Fresh Baked Cookies For Neighbour
Sometimes, doing something nice brings nothing but trouble. That’s the unfortunate lesson learned by two teen girls in Durango, CO in 2005. The girls, Taylor Ostergaard (who was 17 at the time) and Lindsey Jo Zellitti (who was 18), decided that they would rather stay home from the school dance and instead bake some cookies and give them to the neighbours as a surprise. These girls were trying to bring a little bit of brightness into the lives of the neighbours, but it backfired in a big way.
Who Hates Free Yummy Cookies?
The teens baked chocolate chip and sugar cookies, packaged them nicely and added construction paper hearts that read “Have a Great Night” and signed “Love, the T and L Club.” Once they finished packaging, they went off to make their deliveries. It was after 10PM, and the teens wanted the cookies to be a surprise, so they went up to the homes unannounced and left the cookies on the doorsteps. Six of the neighbours that they delivered to actually wrote them back and thanked them.
However, their nighttime delivery was not appreciated by one of the neighbours. Wanita Renea Young, 49, was in her home just south of Durango when she saw two shadowy figures outside of her house and knocking on the door. She asked who they were, but they did not respond. The girls admitted this, saying that they wanted the cookies to be a surprise. This frightened Young though, who called the police. They weren’t able to find any sign of a disturbance, but Young was still distressed. She spent the night at her sister’s house and then went to the hospital the next day. She said her stomach was upset, and that she was afraid she’d suffered a heart attack.
Well, It Must be Time to Sue
Once she found out who was outside her door, she decided that she would sue. She initially wanted to have them pay for her medical bills, as well as thousands of dollars in punitive damages, lost wages, and more. The girls and their family apologized and offered to pay the medical bills. Young said that she didn’t believe the apologies were sincere and went ahead with the lawsuit over free act of kindness cookies.
Bitter-Sweet Ending To Wacky Wednesday Lawsuit
The judge in the case said he believed that the girls were not doing anything malicious, but that it was late for them to be out. He ultimately awarded Young her medical expenses and court costs, but not the punitive damages. Young said that the “victory wasn’t sweet” and that she wasn’t gloating about it. However, she hoped the girls learned their lesson. While they probably should have answered when Young called out, the lesson seems a bit harsh for two young ladies who were really trying to do a good deed with a random act of kindness and make their neighbours happy.
While they didn’t win the case, there was some good news for the girls. There were plenty of donations from around the country, since this case got quite a bit of attention, so they were easily able to pay for the medical bills and court costs. It just goes to show that you cannot make everyone happy. Maybe milk chocolate chips next time….
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