Re: TW liability [Was:Professional associations and dues]

Subject: Re: TW liability [Was:Professional associations and dues]
From: Chris Knight <knight -at- ADA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 10:44:36 -0700

Rowena Hart wrote:
> Are there any cases of
> technical writers being sued for their work, similar to the way that
> journalists can be sued for shoddy reporting or libel? Or perhaps more
> specifically (in the highly litigious environment of the U.S.) for writing
> an installation guide that leads an unwitting user to injury? Just curious.

Indeed there have been cases where a writer has been sued. The one I
am aware of had to do with maintenance instructions for a heliocopter
--don't know which company. The writer was found to be negligent, in
that he/she failed to sufficiently warn the reader of a hazard should
the reader fail to carry out a particular procedure.

It's true that writers WHO ARE EMPLOYEES are usually in no danger of
actually having to pay damages. The same cannot be said for contractors
unless that is specifically stated in the contract.

Chris Knight
Consultant, Technical Communication Architect
Vancouver BC, Canada
(currently at Applied Digital Access,
e-mail: knight -at- bcg -dot- ada -dot- com)
Phone: 604-415-5886 Fax: 604-415-5900
Opinions expressed are my own, not ADA's

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