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ldn
07-21-2010, 01:52 PM
Black Moons brought up the liability topic in "Look what I made" thread, and I just wanted to get everyone's opinions on this.

For a machinist, nearly everything you work on has bad consequences if it fails. And even if your work doesn't fail, the lawyers could still potentially go after you if what you did is even tangentially related to the failure.

It seems like the same would be true of auto mechanics, yet you never hear about them being sued for car accidents subsequent to their work.

I'm also thinking about the guy on here who is renovating light poles. What if he does something wrong (not that he would) and later on 100 light poles all fall down? That's a massive lawsuit, and it's hard to imagine that any normal small business would be capable of even carrying that much insurance.

Are there any rules on this subject? Do you carry special insurance? Are there jobs that you routinely turn away? Is a simple liability waiver form enough?

gnm109
07-21-2010, 02:16 PM
Black Moons brought up the liability topic in "Look what I made" thread, and I just wanted to get everyone's opinions on this.

For a machinist, nearly everything you work on has bad consequences if it fails. And even if your work doesn't fail, the lawyers could still potentially go after you if what you did is even tangentially related to the failure.

It seems like the same would be true of auto mechanics, yet you never hear about them being sued for car accidents subsequent to their work.

I'm also thinking about the guy on here who is renovating light poles. What if he does something wrong (not that he would) and later on 100 light poles all fall down? That's a massive lawsuit, and it's hard to imagine that any normal small business would be capable of even carrying that much insurance.

Are there any rules on this subject? Do you carry special insurance? Are there jobs that you routinely turn away? Is a simply liability waiver form enough?

As a programmer and engineer, I routinely turn away any work on medical devices or safety critical items for this reason. It would be nice to be able to take some of that work though, as a fair amount of it seems to cross my desk.


The only general rules are those provided in the law to describe negligence. When you perform a service or process for another person, it's understood that you have a duty to perform that function properly. Failure to do so may be considered to be negligence.

Negligence:
Acting or failing to act (in a way) which breaches a legal duty of care owed to another resulting in injury to the other's person or property.
4 elements must be shown:

1. Duty of Care.
2. Breach of the duty.
3. Causation (Actual and Proximate: Was your negligence the real cause and only legal cause of the injury or damage? )
4. Resulting damages.

There are some defenses. Things such as contributory negligence where the injured party may have done something to the part you made, or installed it in such a manner as to cause it to fail and hurt him.

Comparative negligence is another defense when the negligence of the injured party was greater than your own negligence.

Also, in certain jurisdictions, it might be considered that the injured person assumed the risk but some places have removed that from the law.

Some folks try to have the purchaser sign a waiver but if the injuries are so bad as to be unforseeable, a good lawyer can often get around that. ( I know, I know, there are no "good" lawyers. LOL. )

The bottom line is that working for others is sort of a crap shoot if something bad happens. If you feel that you may encounter trouble with a certain sort of work, it might be better to forgo doing it as mentioned above here.

vpt
07-21-2010, 02:28 PM
I do fabrication work on cars all the time, even suspension work that I know can go very wrong if what I am making falls apart. What I do is just follow everything to the book. Materials, bolts, thread sizes, material size and thickness, everything to the book. There is formula and mathmatic "directions" to pretty much anything either in a book or online.



*edit* Also I let the owner know of any problems with the car that might be a safety concern or that may just simply cause a problem in the future that I see especially if it is in direct conjunction with the work I am doing.

gregl
07-21-2010, 02:32 PM
There was an old-time one-man machine shop here in town that required the customer to provide a drawing with specifications. The part was made to the drawing. He would not make parts based on napkin sketches or verbal descriptions. Dunno if he ever got sued but at least he could say he made the part to the customer's specifications and anything after that was the customer's responsibility.

And my daughter-in-law sells steel. The folks in her office will tell you the specs for their products but they will not answer questions about specific uses. They will simply say you have to consult an engineer for the answer.

Wise moves in both cases.

oldbikerdude37
07-21-2010, 02:48 PM
You cant sweat every part you make and stress over it. Many times you dont know what the hell it is for.

Carld
07-21-2010, 03:11 PM
A lawyer told me if you make something to someone's drawing your out of the loop. If in the event they do sue all they will get is a judgement and you can set the payment schedule if you pay at all. The reason I asked is do I need an LLC to remove personal liability and he said that's hard to say, it depends on the situation. Different lawyers may give different opinions in different areas.

wrenchbender
07-21-2010, 04:55 PM
I had a customer in my shop for a safety inspection on a class 8 truck
durring the inspection i had to remove a wheel assembly. this added both time and liability to the job that i couldn't recoup. as the fee for an inspection is regulated.
I found that he had bad wheel bearings in this wheel. I recomended he let me replace the bearings, he refused. I reassembled the wheel end and closed the work order noting the faulty parts and the customer's refusal to allow corrective measures.
the assembly failed 450 miles down the road. he tried to sue me, I sent it to my lawyer with the signed bill and never heard from him again.
the visit to my lawyer cost me $200 as oposed to the $10,000 he wanted.
saw the guy several years later I asked him if he learned anything from the experiance. his reply was to spend $65 on bearings if a mechanic tells him to...

Boucher
07-21-2010, 05:36 PM
If you are broke you are safe. The more assets you have the better target you are for lawyers. I guess there are some good lawyers out there but they are in the minority. I guess it just goes with the nature of the turf.

oldtiffie
07-21-2010, 06:00 PM
I agree with gnm109.

"ignorance" or "didn't know" are really not viable defences as or if you tell or give the impression that what you do and/or say is "competent" and/or that you did not disclaim it and/or that the client reasonably assumed that in the event that you did not tell him otherwise that he could and did assume that you were competent.

"Due diligence" and "duty of care" are big issues.

If you are working from a home shop and are not registered and insured as a business and you do work for pay or reward and a claim is lodged with/against you you may have some big issues to consider.

Many of the same issues apply if you do work for others without there being any pay or reward.

I decided when I retired that I would not be running a business or doing any work for anyone else for pretty much those reasons.

I sleep well at night.

gnm109
07-21-2010, 07:22 PM
Most of the liability can be provided for by purchasing "errors or omissions" insurance for the particular trade in which you are working. I don't know what the rates are but if you have a business it would pay to be insured.

If you are building an identifiable product, it also would pay to have products liability insurance.

Beyond that, if you are large enough to warrant it, having a corporation would give some protection for one's personal assets. Generally, the personal assets of a corporate member are safe from judgments placed only against the corporation.

The main problem with corporations is that they are high maintenance. Board meetings and compliance with all of the rules are required to keep one's corporate protection. There are also additional taxes since the corporation is taxed at the corporate level and those who earn money from the corporation are also taxed on their personal incomes.

If all of this sounds paranoid, I'm not paranoid. I know that people are out to get me. LOL. :)

gda
07-21-2010, 07:48 PM
I have too much to loose to risk it trying to pick up $100 here and there. Sometimes I worry about selling machinery as well and won't sell to an idiot.

ldn
07-21-2010, 07:56 PM
Thanks everyone, there's some excellent replies here that were very enlightening.

I don't actually worry about this subject too much -- I just try to stay away from shady clients and risky projects. It just occurred to me to wonder whyI don't see more people getting sued than I do.

ADGO_Racing
07-21-2010, 08:10 PM
Some states do not cover "Professionals" under the corporate vail. Professionals= CPA's, Engineers (Sometimes, state by state), security brokers, real estate agents, Dr.'s, Lawyers, and other occupations. So if you are considered a professional in your specific state, you should discuss with a lawyer (I have found it is appropriate to at least get a second opinion from another lawyer, the first one isn't always honest, or well informed), to be sure you are covered by a corporate entity.

Rattrap
07-21-2010, 08:43 PM
If you do anything that can produce an opportunity to be sued, and you can obtain liability coverage, do it. Some folks threaten to sue, others sue. The latter are the ones who will bankrupt you, whether they prevail or not.

oldtiffie
07-21-2010, 08:52 PM
Some states do not cover "Professionals" under the corporate vail. Professionals= CPA's, Engineers (Sometimes, state by state), security brokers, real estate agents, Dr.'s, Lawyers, and other occupations. So if you are considered a professional in your specific state, you should discuss with a lawyer (I have found it is appropriate to at least get a second opinion from another lawyer, the first one isn't always honest, or well informed), to be sure you are covered by a corporate entity.

That's all too true.

And so is this.

If you do anything that can produce an opportunity to be sued, and you can obtain liability coverage, do it. Some folks threaten to sue, others sue. The latter are the ones who will bankrupt you, whether they prevail or not.

Those and similar professions here are required to be registered with and be regulated by a State Commission and/or Professional Association and to have approved professional qualifications and to have at least $1 million Professional Indemnity Insurance with an approved Insurer and to satisfactorily complete a minimum type and amount of prescribed Professional Improvement and Development program subjects in every registration year as a condition of (re)insurance each and every registration year which in turn is a prerequisite for (re)registration to lawfully practice in that registration year in or as that Class and/or level of that or those professions for which you are registered and insured.

An Insurer can refuse to insure or re-insure you without reason - and that is effectively the end of you as a "Director" in that profession. Sometimes the insurer will just lift your premiums and your ("excess" ie "self-cover") and/or reduce the areas in your profession that they will cover. The net result is and effective "out" anyway in many cases as the risks and costs to the practitioner are too high and the cover too limited for it to be a commercial proposition to keep practicing.

Further, if you get sued etc. and you wind up on a "Court Listing" it will soon be "noticed", broadcast and action and/or "notice" taken by others - even if the action is not sustained or even if you are not found to be guilty of an offence.

In the eyes of a lot of people, that you were not found to be guilty of an offence under the Law many may just say or think that you did or may have done it anyway and that you "got away with it". (The "where there's smoke there's gotta be fire" scenario that spreads like wild-fire on all of the "gossip-mills"). Even your family can be taunted about it - both personally and on "Face-Book" and "Twitter" etc.

It may not "go down well" with real or potential clients, creditors, credit reference companies, banks etc. and may be alluded to by your competitors without actually accusing you of anything to their own commercial and/or personnel advantage.

It may "come to the notice" of building, planning and revenue authorities as to any "non-conforming" uses or practices.

There is too much risk exposure to practice without insurance and registration.

There have been too many published examples of infringers and the risks they face for any sensible practitioner to think of "not complying" but some do and get caught etc...........................

Its a very good scheme.

The more risk you take the more liable things are to blow up in your face.

Its your life and your risk.

ieezitin
07-21-2010, 08:57 PM
I have been self employed for 20 years while working in the employment sector. A very close friend of mine is a brief, his view on this topic is gather all relevant hard information and log it, emails, written paperwork, contracts, filling and record keeping should be second to none.

Statutes are just that guidelines, lawyers argue issues the best food for augments is evidence, arguments change opinions and set precedent.

If your intent is pure and can be proved, and no negligence surfaces you should be ok but this you have to prove in a court of law if it ever comes to that.

Someone raised the point of having no money. That works too and helps. donít be worried too much take life as it comes and knock down what ever punches are thrown at ya.

Anthony. +1

J Tiers
07-21-2010, 09:59 PM
A comment was made about suits against teh corporation being insulated from you.

Ina SMALL corporation that I understand, may NOT be true...... Even in large ones, it is common to sue officers specifically, whether that is sustained or not.

In a small corporation, the actual distinction between you and the corporation is nil, LLC notwithstanding...... and that may be significant, since if the corp does it, that means YOU did it, as you ARE the corp for all practical purposes.

Lawyers specialize in getting through small issues like LLCs etc...... and finding the real moneybags......

gwilson
07-21-2010, 10:03 PM
I turned down a job from a friend once. He raced cars,and wanted me to make him an aluminum pulley about 8" dia. that would do 8000 RPM. I said no to that one. He didn't want to pay the $600.00 for a factory made one.

Turned out that it had a layer of rubber in it,anyway,which I still didn't want to deal with.

oldtiffie
07-21-2010, 10:35 PM
Mostly right JT.

If the directors of the company don't have adequate insurance then they are badly exposed.

The "deep(est) pocket/s" and "jointly and severally" actions are quite common as they search out the people with the most in quantum and opportunity to sue. Those who have (had?) those "deep pockets" pretty well have to sue their or any co-defendants for recovery on a court-determined "shares" and "liability" assessment - which is enforceable - and enforced.

Sufficient insurance with a good insurer will see to the defence and any pay-outs on your behalf.

Many actions can be taken quite some time later if a lengthy "statute of limitations" - if there is one - exists - and so can become a problem that you may not even know about at the time or just ignored it or hoped or thought that it had gone away - and lo and behold the "long tail" attached to that claim or action can really bite you hard in the ar$e in the worst possible way at the worst possible time and especially if your insurance has lapsed because it did not have extended cover for those "long tail" issues.

I have no problem with Lawyers taking action on behalf of a client as approved or directed by the client whether client is the litigant or defendant of the actions. The Lawyer is just doing his job as the client requires and as the Law allows or prescribes.

All too often, the "winner" (if there always or ever is one) is full of praise for his Lawyer and the "loser" has nothing but contempt for Lawyers.

I'm not at all certain that that is the case as it is the Court which will decide the issue based on Law, evidence and learned argument.

The Law here, as I think it is in the UK and the USA, is adversarial - full stop.

It will not be the first time that one or both parties (winner and loser) have been sent broke by themselves or each other (and perhaps their lawyers) by "slogging it out" in a battle of attrition where the "winner" is the one best able to absorb the costs and "keep going" until the other side "folds".

It can be a very hollow and painful "victory" - in many ways.

Sometimes, irrespective of the issues and the rights and wrongs (real and otherwise) it is best to just cut your losses, mediate or agree to a court-sanctioned enforceable settlement and try to get on with life and to get over the bitterness.

Mediation is often the best option.

Todd Tolhurst
07-21-2010, 10:42 PM
It has been said that in every lawsuit, there are four parties: Plaintiff, Plaintiff's attorney, Defendant and Defendant's attorney. In every lawsuit, there are two winners and two losers. The attorneys are not the losers.

oldtiffie
07-21-2010, 11:18 PM
Back the the shop.

If you really don't know - or want to know? - what "cover" you need you have a potential substantial unknown risk from day one.

Saying that you can't afford good advice or cover is tantamount to saying that you don't need it because you are prepared to take your chances - what ever they are.

If you can't identify your likely risks and cover them or if you can't afford them then perhaps you can't afford to be in business - or to take on work - "paid" or "free" on a "non-business" (ie "home" or "hobby") basis.

Vexatious and/or opportunistic complainants regarding your shop are just a fact of life. It can be upset or jealous/envious neighbours or some who for what ever reason feel that they have been "hard done by" by you or your shop in some manner shape or form - or that you are a likely good "soft target" for monetary gain.

ldn
07-21-2010, 11:46 PM
Hey, this thread has gotten a little strange.

I was just curious about how professional independent machinists deal with the enormous potential liability they face.

My shop work is strictly a hobby and I wouldn't dream of taking shop work of any consequence, paid or free. Heck, my neighbor asked me to look at her house wiring and I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, even though I am more than qualified technically. I felt bad, but I'm not set up for that kind of risk.

I'm a little concerned that some people seem to be implying that I might be trying to "get away" with something. If that's the case, I resent the implication.

oldtiffie
07-22-2010, 12:02 AM
ldn.

I can't see where I may have implied that in any way, but if it seems that way to you, I can assure you that it was unintended.

There are essentially two types of shop/s:

1) the pure hobby shop that does no work for others nor is work charged for or rewarded for it by others in any way; and

2) the rest.

I certainly aim for and hope to be firmly in the first category, as I think you are or seem to be.

"professional independent machinists" can be in either category depending on how they do their work and whether they are paid or rewarded or not.

Many are retired or "non-active" but others still are "active" as regards being employed as a machinist.

ldn
07-22-2010, 12:12 AM
I can't see where I may have implied that in any way, but if it seems that way to you, I can assure you that it was unintended.


I didn't say it was you... :) But that's what I was thinking. ;)

Sorry, I must have read you wrong. Since I thought it was being suggested I thought it best to make a clear statement to the contrary. I've been known to take things too personally...

Richard-TX
07-22-2010, 12:59 AM
A corporation will help insulate you from lawsuits but it is not 100% Liability insurance helps take up the slack but the corporation has to be set up properly. Google "piercing the corporate veil" for more info.

Now if fraud or willful defects are found to be involved, then you might as well leave the country as nothing will protect you from that.

Black Forest
07-22-2010, 03:55 AM
I once had a man come to buy a horse from me. I rode the horse and then got off and was going to let him ride the horse. Just as he put his left foot in the stirrup to mount he looked over at me and said, " I hope you have good insurance". I very quickly told him to stop. He put his foot on the ground again and I told him that he was not going to ride any horse on my property. I then told him short and sweet that he could buy the horse with no more discussion and then leave. Of course he tried to give me the , but but but....
Then I told him he could not buy the horse and he should leave now.

gnm109
07-22-2010, 09:03 AM
It has been said that in every lawsuit, there are four parties: Plaintiff, Plaintiff's attorney, Defendant and Defendant's attorney. In every lawsuit, there are two winners and two losers. The attorneys are not the losers.


Yes. If you go to a law library anwhere and look at the cases, there are no reported "ties". Only winners and losers.

Attorneys sometimes lose when they are sanctioned for bad acts during litigation....

brian Rupnow
07-22-2010, 10:16 AM
Back in the late 1970's, when I was a starving draftsman I used to do a lot of "custom" work at home. --Painting cars, building wrought iron room dividers and handrailing, and welding together trailer hitches and installing them on peoples cars. I had a really great State Farm insurance agent who was also a personal friend who would sometimes drop by my place on a Saturday just to yak and to see what I was building. One afternoon just as I was finishing a trailer hitch on someones car, Doug stopped by my place for a visit. He didn't say anything untill my customer left, but then he asked me how much I got paid for building and installing a trailer hitch. I told him about $50, more or less. He said "Brian, I won't tell you what to do or not do, but listen to this. If that hitch ever breaks, for any reason, and the trailer its towing crosses the highway and takes out a family or a school bus full of kids, the insurance companies will hunt you down like a bloodhound. They will take everything you own, and everything you are going to earn for the rest of your natural life!!! Do you really think that the $50 you made today is worth that degree of risk?" I have never built a trailer hitch since.----Brian

Carld
07-22-2010, 01:34 PM
brian has a valid point and that is a good reason to be very selective in what you do if your in business or working at home for others.

A friend I do work for hauls dirt and gravel and he is changing beds on his truck. He removed the old bed and set the other bed on his truck and he torched the hinges off even with the frame and intended to butt weld the new hinges onto the cutoff area. I told him that was not a good idea as a butt weld is not a good weld for this application. I was not doing the welding, he was, I was going make the hinge plates.

After some discussion he decided to remove the old hinges from the truck the new bed came from and use them intact on his truck frame. If he does it as we discussed it will work. I told him I did not want to have him call me and say the butt welds broke and the bed flipped over on a car.

I don't think a lot of inexperienced people give much thought to what will happen if they do something. Life is full of "Oh sh*t" situations and there is no need to add to it.

J Tiers
07-22-2010, 10:16 PM
Mostly right JT.

If the directors of the company don't have adequate insurance then they are badly exposed.

Sufficient insurance with a good insurer will see to the defence and any pay-outs on your behalf.


Mostly right, Tiffie ;)

Any more, insurance companies do not see as their first responsibility to defend and defeat the claim.

They NOW see their first responsibility as finding a way to wiggle out of being responsible for any claim. After all, YOU are being sued, not them. If they can find a way to void teh insurance, so that they are not contractually obligated, they WILL void it, and leave you holding the bag.

So "sufficient insurance" may evaporate when some 'fine print" is exploited.

I know several P.E.s. One told me that he does no longer carry errors and omissions insurance.....

it seems that one day he asked his agent what specifically it covered. After some extensive delay, it turned out that the ultimate coverage was through Lloyds of London, and the actual policy covered only a small portion of what he does. Despite being "insured", he was actually not covered at all for most of his "usual and customary" activities as a registered P.E..

I didn't ask further, however I assume that more full coverage would be available, but at a cost which could involve nearly working for free. Otherwise he would have continued to carry insurance.

gnm109
07-22-2010, 10:43 PM
Generally, an insurance company will review their policy when a claim is made against an insured. If that type of damage is covered by the express language of the policy, they will both defend and indemnify.

If, on the other hand, the particular damage isn't expressly covered, they will usually send you an offer of an attorney to defend you with a reservation of their right to defend only and not pay any potential losses.

That is important though, since the company will often give an excellent defense even though they won't pay any damages.

Going without insurance is a calculated risk.

J Tiers
07-22-2010, 11:12 PM
Maybe personal liability insurance companies are better than health insurance companies..... or homeowner's insurance companies...... and maybe not....

I have NEVER HEARD of the offer of a lawyer, but I have heard of responsibility being flatly denied, leaving the person on their own.

bobw53
07-23-2010, 12:16 AM
Take this for what its worth, 2 cents, and you aren't paying me for it.

Liability insurance is just a tag that says "sue me". If you are some normal garage guy, with a small business, a bit of debt, 100k in a 401k, 100k equity into your house (numbers pulled out of my hoo hoo). No lawyer in the world would go after you.

If you made the faulty part from an ALCOA chunk of material, and you F'd it up with no insurance, blatantly your fault. They'll go after Alcoa, they have $$money$$$$, You on the other hand don't have sh!t. You have a lot of work to get money out of a 401k and years and years to get your equity out of your house, or they could sue alcoa for 250k, grab their 1/3rd and be gone quick

The best defense to being sued is simply to not have insurance. No easy money, no sue, simple. Why tempt them with a large amount of available money?

You should add a tag to everything you sell.


"If you get hurt using this, you're an idiot and deserve it,
you know better. I have no insurance or money."

You homeshop guys, making a few under the table, no receipts, cash only, how are they going to prove it?

I'm sitting here holding $2m in liability telling you not to have insurance. The second I own this building I won't.

Your Old Dog
07-23-2010, 07:44 AM
Never work for money.

winchman
07-23-2010, 08:30 AM
I had a personal liability umbrella policy back when I was making things to sell to the general public. Nowadays, I don't take money for the work I do at the tech school, and I rarely do work for others in my home shop.

I make a point of showing everything I do at the school to the instructor before it goes out the door. I feel pretty comfortable with this arrangement from a personal liability standpoint. Anyone taking something to a school welding shop for the students to work on for free has to assume the people there are not professionals, and the instructor always has the option of having something done over, if it's not OK.

Having said that, I still pass up the occassional project (like the aluminum gas tank to go in the back of a Jeep) simply because I like to sleep at night.

gnm109
07-23-2010, 09:09 AM
Maybe personal liability insurance companies are better than health insurance companies..... or homeowner's insurance companies...... and maybe not....

I have NEVER HEARD of the offer of a lawyer, but I have heard of responsibility being flatly denied, leaving the person on their own.


About 20 years ago, I was sued for some attorney fees that I did not owe. They were not court ordered. I gave the case to my homeowner's insurance company. They sent me a reservation of rights letter and provided an attorney to work on the case.

The attorney called me every week to tell me the progress of my defense. Ultimately, after about 90 days, he got me off on a motion based on the facts.

That may not happen in every case but it's also not that unusual. The reason that an insurance company may defend but not indemnify is that they are in effect defending themselves against future cases. They don't want a particular case to make bad law which will force them to pay in other cases not yet forseen......

winchman
07-23-2010, 12:14 PM
About ten years ago, it looked like I might be sued for something unrelated to machining. I contacted the insurance agent for the company I had the umbrella policy with to see if I could talk to an attorney for advice on how to best handle the situation before it came to a suit. I was told they wouldn't do anything for me until a suit was actually filed against me.

I was disappointed to say the least. A few pointers upfront would have certainly given me some peace of mind, and might have saved a sizable bill later.

As it turned out, the other party realized I wasn't responsible for his problem after all, and the matter was dropped.

Your Old Dog
07-23-2010, 01:47 PM
Take this for what its worth, 2 cents, and you aren't paying me for it.

Liability insurance is just a tag that says "sue me". If you are some normal garage guy, with a small business, a bit of debt, 100k in a 401k, 100k equity into your house (numbers pulled out of my hoo hoo). No lawyer in the world would go after you.

If you made the faulty part from an ALCOA chunk of material, and you F'd it up with no insurance, blatantly your fault. They'll go after Alcoa, they have $$money$$$$, You on the other hand don't have sh!t. You have a lot of work to get money out of a 401k and years and years to get your equity out of your house, or they could sue alcoa for 250k, grab their 1/3rd and be gone quick

The best defense to being sued is simply to not have insurance. No easy money, no sue, simple. Why tempt them with a large amount of available money?

You should add a tag to everything you sell.


"If you get hurt using this, you're an idiot and deserve it,
you know better. I have no insurance or money."

You homeshop guys, making a few under the table, no receipts, cash only, how are they going to prove it?

I'm sitting here holding $2m in liability telling you not to have insurance. The second I own this building I won't.

There is much truth in Bob's words above. I have recently been involved in a lawsuit and that is exactly how the attorneys look at it. One thing to be aware of, even though you may have nothing to loose, you may still be a party to the suit to prevent the other defendant from saying you were the one who was actually at fault. That was the scenario in the suit I was in. The second party had nothing to loose but we couldn't let him become a witness for the defendant. As it worked out it was 3 against 3 in court and not 2 against 1 as you might expect.

Michael Moore
07-23-2010, 01:54 PM
If you made the faulty part from an ALCOA chunk of material, and you F'd it up with no insurance, blatantly your fault. They'll go after Alcoa, they have $$money$$$$, You on the other hand don't have sh!t. You have a lot of work to get money out of a 401k and years and years to get your equity out of your house, or they could sue alcoa for 250k, grab their 1/3rd and be gone quick

Bob, they may not go after the individual if there is no one else around. But my impression is that if they are filing a suit, sometimes they'll use a shotgun approach and list everyone in it that might possibly have some liability/money. All it costs them up front is an extra fee to have the suit served.

The problem is that once someone sues you, you MUST fight it, no matter how frivolous the suit is. Otherwise they'll get a default judgement against you and then you are on the hook for it.

It seems the object is not to be able to win a suit, but to never be dragged into court in the first place.

I've been on a long jury trial as a juror and the lesson I took from that is that I never want to be involved in a suit on any side, not even as a witness. It doesn't look like it is any fun at all.

cheers,
Michael

gnm109
07-23-2010, 03:31 PM
Bob, they may not go after the individual if there is no one else around. But my impression is that if they are filing a suit, sometimes they'll use a shotgun approach and list everyone in it that might possibly have some liability/money. All it costs them up front is an extra fee to have the suit served.

The problem is that once someone sues you, you MUST fight it, no matter how frivolous the suit is. Otherwise they'll get a default judgement against you and then you are on the hook for it.

It seems the object is not to be able to win a suit, but to never be dragged into court in the first place.

I've been on a long jury trial as a juror and the lesson I took from that is that I never want to be involved in a suit on any side, not even as a witness. It doesn't look like it is any fun at all.

cheers,
Michael

All very true. In products liability for example, they sue everybody involved. If you make a widget that is a subassembly for a doohickey, they sue and the doohickey seller as well as the people who made any other widgets taht were part of the doohickey.

As it's also true that you will need to defend yourself since a default judgment is good after 6 months if not overturned, at least in California. Often the plaintiff will say they served you and you will never have seen the papers.

airsmith282
07-23-2010, 04:05 PM
to avoid getting sued all you have to do is give a paper in writting that you will not be held responsable for any injury or death caused by use or mis use or abuse or neglect when using the product,,

simple and easy and your ass is covered,

gnm109
07-23-2010, 04:33 PM
to avoid getting sued all you have to do is give a paper in writting that you will not be held responsable for any injury or death caused by use or mis use or abuse or neglect when using the product,,

simple and easy and your ass is covered,


Well, that's OK as far as it goes. What you are describing, however, is a defense during trial as opposed to a complete shield against a law suit.

I've always said that anyone may be sued for anything at the time by anyone. It may or may not stick.

In such a case, even where a death later occurs, issues often arise as to whether the signer of such a waiver was fully informed of the danger involved. Often waivers are tossed out since the damages incurred were found to be unforseeable by the signer or that the language was ambiguous.

There's no free lunch when liability is involved. There's usually more than enough to go around, too.

Todd Tolhurst
07-23-2010, 05:30 PM
to avoid getting sued all you have to do is give a paper in writting that you will not be held responsable for any injury or death caused by use or mis use or abuse or neglect when using the product,,

At very best, that might help in your defense. It will certainly not prevent anyone from suing you. All that takes is filling out a form and paying a filing fee.

And it probably won't be as useful as you think in your defense.

airsmith282
07-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Well, that's OK as far as it goes. What you are describing, however, is a defense during trial as opposed to a complete shield against a law suit.

I've always said that anyone may be sued for anything at the time by anyone. It may or may not stick.

In such a case, even where a death later occurs, issues often arise as to whether the signer of such a waiver was fully informed of the danger involved. Often waivers are tossed out since the damages incurred were found to be unforseeable by the signer or that the language was ambiguous.

There's no free lunch when liability is involved. There's usually more than enough to go around, too.

you have 2 copies customer signs both , you have a copy he has a copy if he loses his oh well. thats life, cause you have a copy of your own with his or her hand written signature so your off the hook either way..

doucumantation with their signature its the best protection for you and can not be disputed,

on another note , here is a good one for you,
take your car for repairs to a business that does such work they are on the hook for the repairs for what ever warranty they give you, if something goes wronge that they did not do work on they are not responsible.

now on the second side, take your car to some back yard mechanic, you cant sue him no matter what goes wornge thats life, thats also the law, its like a yard sale buy at your own risk..

some people worry way to much and there is no need for it,

fix a guys lawn mower he hits a rock blade gets damaged might even break off and take a chunk of his leg to , now business or joe blow is not held responsible waver or no waver , the moron should have check his yard first before cutting his grass..

so if you make a part for some one and it fails and someone is hurt your the joe blow then oh well. if your the business then you might get a problem if you have not made the customer sign a wavier,

doctors make you sign waviers these days so they cant be sued so there is the answer right there..

if no waver is sign his insurance rates increase oh well he made a mistake now your missing a limb thats life ,

gnm109
07-23-2010, 05:58 PM
........................doucumantation with their signature its the best protection for you and can not be disputed,



Anything can be disputed at any time by anyone.