Re: Covering all the bases (Re: SERIOUS: Formal vs. informal organizations)

Subject: Re: Covering all the bases (Re: SERIOUS: Formal vs. informal organizations)
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 15:54:44 -0600

> Okay, that exact scenario hasn't happened yet, to my knowledge...
> but from some of the stories I've heard the last few years, it
> can only be a matter of time. Recall the woman who spilled the
> McDonalds coffee in her lap, sued the restaurant claiming it was
> "too hot", and won a large settlement. Golly, coffee that's hot?
> What will they think of next?

What most people don't realize about this lawsuit is that she didn't win
because the coffee was hot, she won because the coffee was *hotter than
a "reasonable person" would expect coffee to be* (McDonald's regularly
overheated their coffee to mask the less-than-fresh taste, or so I've
heard). One shouldn't expect to get third degree burns from coffee at
"serving temperature." What does this have to do with technical writing?
It's the "reasonable person." Theoretically, you should be safe if you
warn against things a *reasonable person* might do. In practice, YMMV.

Tracy
--
===========================================================
Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Curriculum & Instructional Materials Center
Stillwater, Oklahoma http://www.okvotech.org/cimc/
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