RE: A Day in Technical Documentation History

Subject: RE: A Day in Technical Documentation History
From: "margaret Cekis" <margaret -dot- cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "'William Sherman'" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "'Bee Hanson'" <beelia -at- pacbell -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 28 May 2016 20:26:57 -0400

William Sherman said, "...If companies viewed this document not as the $500
item they sell it for, or the $1000 of free support they don't have to give
away, but as the protection against the $10,000,000 lawsuit, maybe they
would think better of publications departments."

I worked for BRK Electronics, the company that made First Alert and other
smoke detectors. Every time they were sued, they added more warnings to
their user guides. They had one weird case where someone took a commercial
wired-in detector, and installed it using an extension cord. Then they
converted their attic to a bedroom, and covered the extension cord that ran
across the floor with a rug. Eventually, the use of a rocking chair on top
of the rug (and the extension cord) damaged the cord enough to cause a fire.
The company was not liable because the installation violated all the safe
installation instructions.

I agree that we should remind companies about liability issues. That is
easier to do in traditional engineering-run companies that already have a
legal staff or a consultant law firm who reviews their products and
documentation for legal issues. It's much harder in internet- and
marketing-focused companies who consult lawyers only to support their IPOs.

Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek GA

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Flare-only shop?: From: Nancy Allison
A Day in Technical Documentation History: From: William Sherman
Re: A Day in Technical Documentation History: From: Bee Hanson
Re: A Day in Technical Documentation History: From: William Sherman

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