RE: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?

Subject: RE: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?
From: "Ed Manley" <edmanley -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 09:25:25 -0700

> No ones arguing about product defects or products being dangerous. Just
> about any product can be used in a dangerous way. I use my Bic pen to
with, but if I choose to stab my neighbor in the eye with it, is Bic liable?
Should the pen carry a warning "Danger: Not intended to be used as a weapon,
hole punch, drumstick, or any other use other than writing"? Give me a
freakin' break.

>> Yes, cars kill if you drive them into a wall at 100 mph, as you state.
>> you sound like the type that would try to get damages from the wall as a
>> party to the accident.

This totally flies in the face of recent experiences of the firearms
manufacturers, who produce weapons that are often used for their designed
purpose - to shoot people. The gun manufacturer's lobby would tell you that
an unloaded properly stored pistol is no more dangerous than a brick sitting
on your closet shelf; it might fall off and hit you in the head, but it
won't kill you, (as in the BIC pen analogy)...but folks are and will
continue suing these manufacturers.

True story,
Old hunting buddy and carpenter Carlton borrowed my .38 revolver. He had had
all of his tools, guns and appliances stolen by an employee, but did not
tell me that - he just asked to use the gun. I let him. My friends and I
exchange guns all the time, no big deal.

This time, however, he drives straight to the thieving doofus's house, walks
to the porch gun in hand, requesting Doofus's presence on the porch. When
Doofus comes out on the porch, Carlton places the gun under Doofus's chin
and requests that his stuff be returned, forthwith. Doofus, perhaps
visualizing the last Bruce Lee movie he saw, slaps at the gun, which goes
off, no more Doofus.

Come now the cops, who listen to Carlton's sad tale, verify that his
belongings are in fact inside the Doofus abode, and promptly arrest poor
Carlton. Two days later Carlton's back on the street; one year later he is
acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing, jury says it was an ACCIDENTAL
DISCHARGE!!!! (Right - point a gun at a person, gun goes off, its an
accident? I can't see it, but it wasn't up to me)

Now comes the Mrs. Doofus looking for her money through the auspices of
civil court.

Can't sue Carlton, he's got nothing and likely will never, so that would be
a waste.

Can't sue me, I have witnesses that attest to the fact I lent the gun
without knowledge of Carlton's stress or plan, told him it was double
action, and told him to be careful, that Taurus is a rotten manufacturer and
that he should not trust the half-cock safety...besides, my assets and fifty
cents will get you a cup of coffee, maybe. (When I say can't sue, obviously,
they could if they wanted to fund the suit themselves - but you won't find
many lawyers who will sue those with little assets on a contingency fee,
there's just too little to gain. Lawyers, I have noticed, LIKE gain)

So, she decides (actually I expect her lawyer decided) - Taurus Arms is at
fault! Yes! Taurus manufactured, marketed and delivered an inherently
dangerous double-action revolving pistol and DID NOT ADEQUATELY INSTRUCT THE
SHOOTER who Taurus could not have even known existed. They could have told
ME "Hey idiot, don't point this at anybody" and in fact did, with several
pieces of firearm operations and safety literature in the gun case when I
bought it. But they could not have warned Carlton.

I wasn't there, and haven't seen Carlton since, but I suspect that what won
the day in the civil suit was Taurus's failure record. This is not a
collector's gun we are talking about here, rather it's a $35. pocket pistol,
good only for the occasional shooting of folk at very close range (I once
fired it at a bottle floating in a lake and MISSED THE LAKE).

Court says "It is reasonable to expect that a gun might fall into the
spectacularly stupid and untrained hands of someone beside the owner, Taurus
is liable". She won her case, I am not privy to the amount.

What could Taurus have done? Should they stencil in big red letters "DO NOT
POINT AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS YOU WISH TO KEEP" along the barrel? Would that
help? If I am aiming a pistol I see my fist, the hammer and the front sight,
but would not see any writing on the barrel, so would the warning be

Taurus, in fact all of that industry's manufacturers and distributors, will
tell you that the Taurus Bulldog .38 pistol is NOT inherently dangerous and
is not manufactured nor sold for the purpose of killing those on the wrong
end, but everyone knows that this is its only reason to exist.

Is there a point here? I don't know...gotta go

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RE: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?: From: LeVie, Donald S

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