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Accidents and lawyers

>Mike Arman wrote:
>> Christian, you are one lucky SOB to even be around to consider suing them!
>> And so is your girl friend! You've now had free legal advice from two
>> lawyers, and both have said the same thing: "Sign nothing. Settle nothing.
>> Get legal help. Do so NOW."
>> Possible issues:
>>         1. Overhead gas dispensing hose inherently unsafe design (by your
>> own direct experience), liability on part of manufacturer and their
>> liability insurance, plus liability of gas company and their insurance.
>>         2. Inadequate training of employee who didn't know where the
>> emergency shutoff was - don't these people know how dangerous gasoline can
>>         3. A whole raft of EPA problems, State inspector problems (gas
>> are inspected by the state of FL), etc.
>>         4. Did I forget the manufacturer of the hose that burst? They could
>> also be liable.
>>         5. Medical issues in future need to be addressed.
>>         6. Present damages - (I think a new A-8 for each of you might be a
>> good start.)
>And you guys complain that you have too many lawyers?  It's clearly not just
>the lawyers themselves, it's the whole attitude.  As soon as something bad
>happens, your first assumption is ...
>"Somebody is liable.  I'll sue the pants off the bastard!"
>Well, maybe somebody was negligent, and didn't inspect the pump.  Or maybe
>there is a design flaw, and pumps are blowing up every day somewhere (though
>this is the first one I have heard of).
>But I have to look at the other side, too.  There's a guy who makes his
>living running a gas station, and he may be doing the best damn job he can.
>And just maybe he was doing things right.  Just maybe the inspectors and
>manufacturers are doing things by the book.
>Accidents happen.  Perfectly good planes fall out of the sky.  Perfectly good
>pieces of equipment fail on cars.  Products and systems are engineered to
>meet standards, but nature and materials aren't perfectly predictable -- for
>example, a flaw in the rubber could have caused the hose to burst.
>Human errors happen, too, without there being negligence in involved -- or
>each one of you negligent each time you cause an accident?  
>I am *NOT* saying that the gas station/company/inspector is innocent.  I am
>just decrying the tendency to publicly convict and crucify them automatically
>without any evidence, and to call in the lawyers.  This attitude is what
>makes your judicial system as litigation-happy as it is, not what any one
>lawyer does.
>ObAudiContent: My forthcoming 1.8T quattro may have a flaw in it -- who
>knows.  But I don't intend to call a lawyer as soon as I find one.
>Tom Haapanen -- Software Metrics Inc. -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
>A Microsoft Solution Provider Partner -- http://www.metrics.com/