Re: Instructions for Stupid People (and litigation)

Subject: Re: Instructions for Stupid People (and litigation)
From: George Hasty <ghasty -at- INDIAL1 -dot- IO -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 1994 21:02:40 GMT

Joe Fockler (jfockler -at- iphase -dot- com) wrote:
: According to George Hasty :
: +
: + Randy Allen Harris (raha -at- watarts -dot- uwaterloo -dot- ca) wrote:
: +
[ story about farmer falling off roof and sueing
ladder company deleted ]
: +
: + Many of these kinds of stories have been promoted by insurance companies
: + trying to push the "tort reform" movement, and many of them, even those
: + featured on tv news, have been found to be untrue or grossly distorted.
: + They do however make good stories -- try the newsgroup alt.folklore.urban
: + if you enjoy this sort of thing. But don't post one of these there un-
: + less you like to hear howls of derision.
: +
[ signature stuff deleted ]

: George, do you have any documented sources that substantiate the claim
: that they are untrue? I have heard of many similar type incidences, e.g.,
: someone dives into a shallow swimming pool from a neighbors garage roof,
: becomes paralyzed and sues the swimming pool manufacturer because the "Do
: not dive" warning could not be seen from the roof top.

: I would really like to follow up on these stories. Thanks

Sorry, but I am depending on my memory of material that I have seen
in magazine articles, etc. some time ago. The alt.folklore.urban news-
group, however, would be a good place to start if you want to see how
complicated it can be to pin down the truth/untruth of such stories
which spiral out of control in public discourse. Folks over there are
really amused and scornful of stories that the poster validates with
it must be true because a) it really happened to a friend of my friend's
friend or it really happened because I saw it on TV or heard it on
the radio. Why? The stories take on life of their own and can never be
stopped once launched if they meet people's needs for entertainment,
to feel superior, to play ain't it awful, and so forth. <g>

The only way to be "sure" about the case of the farmer negligently
falling off the ladder and then winning damages from the ladder
company would be to somehow find the trial transcript. And even so,
was the initial award later reduced or reversed? They often are.
And so on. Everything of this nature, including what I am writing
here, has to be viewed with healthy scepticism.

If I have time, I will look into the alt.folklore.urban FAQ, to see
whether this story or some similar one has been verified. I appreciate
your challenging me on this one, it may motivate me to further re-

George Hasty ghasty -at- io -dot- com
Illuminati Online Austin, TX

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