Product safety and manuals


jrlaw@...
 

Dear John:

Mike's comment on product liability is important. Some
courts (Texas anyone?) have given some astounding awards in what seem
to an outside observer strange fact situations. It was with that in
mind that I would suggest that Tek would be wise to have an explicit
licence. It could then easily impose a requirement that any copy must
contain all warnings from the original manual and a disclaimer of any
liability. Their situation would seem to be unclear in the
alternative practice of "turning a blind eye" permissive copies.

You are of course right to notice that expected standards of
safety change over the years. I can bask in the glow of the neon
optical choppers of my HP410C vtvm. Perforated metal cases around
high voltage circuits would probably be unacceptable to the product
liability risk managers today. Presumably, the manufacturer may be
responsible in some states if a child (or an idiot!) sticks a wire
into the ventilation holes of a 500 series scope and finds the hv.

In Canada, we like to think that our product liability law is
a little more sensible; but I would not bet on that every day. This
is an area where everyone needs to take care. Of course, this is a
very good reason for Tek to do something about supporting their older
products. The absence of proper documentation for safe operation and
servicing is an obvious risk. They may yet be liable for neglecting
the continuing support obligations implicit in the original sale of a
well made product with expected long life.

My 191 is in mint condition and tests as perfectly calibrated.
But I woud be grateful if I could borrow a manual to be sure that I
have documentation if needed. Could you lend it to me and I will
reimburse you for postage and return it promptly? My address is:

Richard B. Jones
Jones, Rogers
Suite 1600, 155 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5H 3B6

Kind regards Richard Jones


--- In TekScopes@y..., jstanton@v... wrote:
Dear Richard,

Thank you for your review. I would not feel morally culpable nor
legally liable now should I make a copy of a manual for an
instrument
that I own.

I do not have a 2236 manual, unfortunately, but I do have a 191
manual, in case you don't have one for your instrument.

What do think of Mike's caution on liability? I know that US law
differs from British and I suspect Canadian law where product
liability is concerned but even under US product liability it would
seem to be a stretch to make a company liable for the hazards
surrounding vacuum tubes. Even the much publicised problems of
legal liabilities in General Aviation are to my knowledge limited
to
crashes - the use of the item for its intended purpose.

It has made me wonder about the legal problems waiting for the
manufacturers of exotic tube type audio equipment where the tubes
are
openly displayed so that the glowing plasma and filaments are in
plain view.


Best Regards

John Stanton
Wood Dale IL


dhuster@...
 

I got my hand taken off by the radiator fan on my 1954 Chevy. You
can't hardly touch a fan on my 2001 Chevy because of all the
shrouds. I'm gonna sue Chevy because there wasn't a warning label on
my '54.

I hit a deer with my car last year. Ford didn't tell me in the
manual that a Taurus would hit a deer. I'm gonna sue Ford. For that
matter, I'm gonna sue the state because they didn't put 20-foot-high
fences on both sides of the road to keep deer off. Maybe I'll sue
God because he didn't give deer more sense than me. At least I don't
think he did.

I burned my butt the other day when I sat naked on the kitchen
stove. Sears didn't tell me that I couldn't sit naked on my stove
when the burners were on. I'm gonna sue Sears.

No amount of manual writing, safety exhortations, hole-less covers,
etc. are going to keep the kind of people that sue because of their
stupidity or for frivolous reasons from doing so. We don't need to
contain our manuals ... we need to contain our lawyers and village
idiots and the courts/judges that enable them.

(No insult intended toward our truly honest attorneys and those
village idiots who aren't just "playing the system". Courts and
judges ... well, the jury's still out on you, so to speak.)

Dean


Miroslav Pokorni <mpokorni@...>
 

Dear Dean,

Just be careful when suing, you might win. The best story that I know goes
like this:

A well known boat winch manufacturer from Massachusetts made and sold a
winch in 30s. I do not know whether winch was electrically powered or just
electrically controlled; the actual control for winch was an electrical
switch. The winch got installed on a fishing boat shortly after purchase and
over years boat and winch changed hands several times. The last owner
modified the winch by moving actuation switch away from the mechanism by few
feet. That same owner got his hand caught into line that was winched in and
was not able to reach turn off switch. As consequence, his hand or arm were
mangled and he sued winch manufacturer. I read story in early 80s when jury
awarded multimillion dollar damages and winch manufacturer was considering
declaring bankruptcy; at that time marine business was not a booming one. I
doubt that this decision would stand an appeal, but you need lot of money to
go through an appeal and faltering business certainly can not finance that.

So much for liability laws, as written by jury.


Regards

Miroslav Pokorni

-----Original Message-----
From: dhuster@pb.k12.mo.us [mailto:dhuster@pb.k12.mo.us]
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2001 9:46 AM
To: TekScopes@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [TekScopes] Re: Product safety and manuals

I got my hand taken off by the radiator fan on my 1954
Chevy. You
can't hardly touch a fan on my 2001 Chevy because of all the

shrouds. I'm gonna sue Chevy because there wasn't a warning
label on
my '54.

I hit a deer with my car last year. Ford didn't tell me in
the
manual that a Taurus would hit a deer. I'm gonna sue Ford.
For that
matter, I'm gonna sue the state because they didn't put
20-foot-high
fences on both sides of the road to keep deer off. Maybe
I'll sue
God because he didn't give deer more sense than me. At
least I don't
think he did.

I burned my butt the other day when I sat naked on the
kitchen
stove. Sears didn't tell me that I couldn't sit naked on my
stove
when the burners were on. I'm gonna sue Sears.

No amount of manual writing, safety exhortations, hole-less
covers,
etc. are going to keep the kind of people that sue because
of their
stupidity or for frivolous reasons from doing so. We don't
need to
contain our manuals ... we need to contain our lawyers and
village
idiots and the courts/judges that enable them.

(No insult intended toward our truly honest attorneys and
those
village idiots who aren't just "playing the system". Courts
and
judges ... well, the jury's still out on you, so to speak.)

Dean





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