Selling prototypes, beta-versions: Liabilities?

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Awl --
Suppose you build something, in yer home shop. Suppose a neightbor comes by and says, Hey, BillyBob, dats a really neat whatsit, can I buy it offa you? SHORE!!! But, I cain't vouch for my welding, matchining, or anything else.....
Is BillyBob on the hook his neighbor then breaks his ass or pokes his eye out with BillyBob's whatsit??
Now, Suppose BillyBob puts the same prototype whatsit (cuz he made a few samples) on craigslist, or ebay (not knowing that BillyBob just lost an eye on a similar prototype), with the same disclaimer. Suppose the craigslist/ebay person then pokes his eye out.
Is BillyBob liable? Suppose two scenarios: 1. the whatsit actually broke, or 2. the neighbor/buyer used it in a risky way -- like, say, the prototype was some RAS, but without the blade guard, with a subsequent missing finger....
How bout if he explicitly stated, This thing could poke yer eye out, take yer finger off.... ?
Does any of the above change with a mom/pop corporation selling prototypes, one-offs, etc?
Any experiences/conjectures welcome.
--
EA



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On 9/17/2011 2:39 PM, Existential Angst wrote:

I incorporated my consulting business for this reason. I could not buy liability insurance. Contractor's accountant put me on to this site:
http://www.bizfilings.com /
You want the corporation to be liable. Contractors will incorporate every new housing project for this reason and keep little of their assets in the corporation.
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That is why our small ham radio club incorporated. Only about 30 members and token dues of $ 5 a year. Even put in for a 501C3 or whatever nonprofit so some businesses would donate things such as ham sandwiches for public service events to us.
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Two thoughts have stuck with me. 1) You never want to have to sit in the witness chair. 2) You don't know the answer until the judge tells you.
Be goverened by those.
I no longer will loan out ladders or power tools. I did have a neighbor fall off a ladder. No injuries but it was a warning to me.
Charlie
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On 9/17/2011 2:39 PM, Existential Angst wrote:

U-Haul builds their own trailers. They used to sell the old ones but for liability reasons they now dismantle and cut them up into pieces and sell as scrap metal.
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On 9/17/2011 4:36 PM, Tony Miklos wrote:

One of the biggest considerations today is to do as much as you can to protect yourself from pirate lawyers wanting to transfer wealth to themselves: "have an accident, call us first", "maybe you have been hurt and you don't even know it...call us now!"
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Everyone deserves to be represented by an attorney in court. The lawyers are not the problem. The real problem is caused by gullible jurors.
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Limiting awards to actual damages would be a big improvement. No money for pain and suffering. Juries need to figure out they don't have to award more than actual damages to be fair.
Best Regards Tom.
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On 9/18/2011 5:51 PM, azotic wrote:

of your own. For example lets say you are at the big box buying a box of nails and a higher shelf collapses on you. You loose six months of work and live in uncontrollable pain the rest of your life because of the injuries you received. Would it be OK with you if the big box insurance picked up the tab for the medical expenses and paid you six months of lost wages and then you were on your own?
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Would money relieve the pain? No. If i got paid for the medical bills and time lost i would be satisified. People who injur themselves sometimes suffer pain all thier and lives they and live with it. Lets say a person cuts into a high voltage cable to steal the copper and is toasted but survives should they be able to litigate for pain and suffering?
Best Regards Tom.
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On 9/18/2011 7:25 PM, azotic wrote:

Who said anything about a criminal act? You are minding you own business and through no fault of your own you receive a serious injury.
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wrote:

A reasonable compromise is to allow juries to award punitive or pain and suffering damages but cap them at some reasonable multiple of compensatory damages (say treble or four times) and perhaps also impose an absolute amount cap (such as $1M).
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I think much could be done by limiting class action suits. Many of these are just fishing expeditions for the attorneys who know what it will cost the companies to go to trial and submit an offer of settlement that is right around that. The last 4 class action suits I have been involved in, I got an average of $3.00 and the attorneys got an average of just over $ 35 million in fees.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
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On 9/19/2011 9:51 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

Thats why class actions are often called the "litigation lottery" because they can really win big.
Last one I received stated something like "In order to preserve maximum benefits for the class Dewey, Cheatum and Howe has agreed to accept $29 million. And the class members got a $3 off of next purchase coupon...
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wrote:

You're in the wrong classes. I got a free new phone with many accessories from Sprint when they decided to change systems and obsolete the old phones. Got $100 for IBM selling me bad Deskstar hard drives. Sometimes, class actions bring very reasonable results for the members of the class as well as the attorneys. In the IBM case, discovery revealed that IBM knew they had serious quality control problems but shipped the drives anyway. There's not much you can do when your own emails "indict" you.
I've been invited to join other class actions, but reading the fine print revealed the "payout" was a discount on MORE crap made by the same vendor, so I opted out. In fact, I suspect that some of these supposed class actions were actually scams to dupe people into giving up personal information because the rewards were ridiculously low - less than it would cost a vendor them to gain customers through advertising.
-- Bobby G.
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back when it was still GTE Mobilnet. Got no money, but I could get a free earbud for my phone, if I reupped for two years more. Some punishment, something that probably costs them a buck or two if I extend my contract. There was NO gain from the suit w/o extending the contract.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

I might have opted for the earbud if I could have pushed it up the vendor's output port with a sharp stick! (0: Those are precisely the sort of "deals" that are giving class actions suits a bad name. Tip two: always take money, not goods. The Qualcomm phones Sprint offered as a replacement died a year or two later. The $100 from IBM is still earning, though!
-- Bobby G.
MOH Winner: *FLEEK, CHARLES CLINTON Rank and organization: Sergeant, U .S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 27 May 1969. Entered service at: Cincinnati, Ohio. Born: 28 August 1947, Petersburg, Ky. An enemy soldier threw a grenade into the squad position. Realizing that his men had not seen the grenade, Sgt. Fleek, although in a position to seek cover, shouted a warning to his comrades and threw himself onto the grenade, absorbing its blast, undoubtedly saving the lives or prevented the injury of at least 8 of his fellow soldiers.
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On 9/19/2011 4:41 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

I was in a class action against the company that owned one of the cellular systems (maybe cellular one) that predated VZW. I don't remember what the action was about but I do remember the final letter. "In order to preserve maximum value for the class, Dewey, Cheatum & Howe has agreed to accept $12,723,201.00
Members of the class received a phone card (remember them?) worth $5 that featured a per minute cost of almost $2. So you got to make a <3 minute call.
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wrote:

The worst suits are the ones where there no clearly defined benefit - only the remainder of a pool of X dollars AFTER the outrageous legal fees have been deducted. As for calling cards, I still use them! At less than 3 cents a minute, though. (-:
-- Bobby G. *FOLLAND, MICHAEL FLEMING Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion, 3d Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade. Place and date: Long Khanh, Providence, Republic of Vietnam, 3 July 1969. Entered service at: Richmond, Va. Born: 15 April 1949, Richmond, Va. Seeing that no one could reach the grenade and realizing that it was about to explode, Cpl. Folland, with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade. By his dauntless courage, Cpl. Folland saved the lives of his comrades although he was mortally wounded by the explosion.
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On 9/19/2011 9:45 AM, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

Current problem is the lawyers who aren't happy with their billing rate and want to go for the kill. They carefully identify every deep pocket that could possibly maybe have something to do with whatever the damages are and whip them into a frenzy to get the gazillion dollar awards.
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