Lawsuits seem to be as common as the cold these days. Nowhere is that more evident than when it comes to people suing businesses for a perceived wrong.
If anyone has taken the time to read some of the warnings printed on products or in user’s manuals, the inevitable conclusion is that someone must have actually “done” some of the harebrained things listed as being a hazard (and sued over it) or it wouldn’t be mentioned. This should give one pause when thinking about the law and how it is supposed to protect us from grave injustices and remedy personal injury wrongs, etc.
Sadly, a great many businesses these days are under a virtually constant threat of being sued for something; incidents that could range from scalding coffee being spilled, to a person slipping, tripping and falling outside a business. Some of these lawsuits may very well be frivolous, some may not. Really, most businesses these days need to know what to do about customers or clients blaming them for client errors or things beyond anyone’s control.
Nowhere is this risk more evident than when it comes to products liability cases. In this area of the law, manufacturers are in the position where they must tell an end user how to use their product, and how “not” to use it. They are also required to warn people what may happen if they misuse an item.
Gone are the days when a product maker could assume a consumer would use the product for its intended purpose. Nowadays, the things people think of to do with some products are utterly unbelievable and may cause serious personal injuries or death.
Manufacturers are now in the awkward position of trying to “guess” what a consumer “may” do with their item that could harm them. Quite a stretch of the imagination in many cases, but that is how far the law in this area has gone. For example, who would have thought that a consumer would use a portable chain saw propped up at the top end of a metal pole to try and trim tree branches or use a hair dryer while asleep?
Simply put, the law in the 21st century mandates that a business protect itself from some really ridiculous happenstances. After assuming the worst case scenario, a business must then guess what might happen and then issue a warning. In instances like this, it’s obvious that manufacturers are going to have to also assume their consumers are none too bright. However, having said that, there is a large gap between what products liability law says and how it gets applied.
Thankfully the law doesn’t say that a business has to guard against personal injuries or a death as the result of a consumer’s bad or poor judgment. However, when a case gets to court, it may be a different story and the consumer will triumph. For this and many other reasons, it only makes good common sense to discuss any personal injury case or products liability case with a skilled personal injury attorney.
It’s best to make sense of a bad situation in the eyes of how the law is applied prior to assuming something that might not be the case in actual practice when all is said and done. Put another way, have a well seasoned business attorney create systems, procedures and company policies to deal with those “frivolous” cases that defy explanation to even a reasonable person.
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