Two issues here. Flimsy furniture and kidproofing.
As someone who used to work in insurance, I used to read the reports of some
of these injuries/deaths. One common problem was wih those big rolling
metal tool cabinets. Kids would pull out the drawers and climb them. The
heavy toolbox, loaded with tools, would tip over. This often killed the kid.
Those things need to be locked or secured to the wall if you have kids
As for flimsy furniture, that is a hazard unto itself. I used to make
rustic style furniture out of 2 X 12's and 2 X 10's. The comment that
people made all the time when they saw it was that it was real sturdy. The
implication being that a lot of furniture is flimsy.
Even the bookshelves I made out of one by stock was very strong. I really
don't think any quality furniture is going to be flimsy. And as such, is
not any where near the safety hazard as the flimsy stuff.
My uncle makes puzzle parts toys out of 3X's. He sells these at fairs
and such. He maintains liability insurance just in case. How some child
could be injured by these toys is hard to imagine but if it can happen
it will happen. Be safe, just in case.
OK Swing, now your are starting to make me feel old. I read the
It states that 80% of the deaths occur to children under the age of
I probably couldn't climb much until two. At the age of five I knew
better, thanks to my folks. (I am envisioning a time when we got our
first "brand new modern black and white television" which I was not
allowed to simply touch.)
So there is a window of uncertainty there... say about 3 years. At
age five I was in kindergarten, and certainly not allowed to climb on
furniture, pull things over, etc. in school. So that took care of
school and home.
Seems others in the test were raised in different conditions.
That being said, I wear myself and my guys out trying to prepare for
actionable occurrences. Once my jobs start, I almost feel like I have
established an adversarial relationship with my clients.
In 27 years of having my business, I have been threatened with
lawsuits many times in the past, and sued twice, only to have the
judges refuse to hear the cases based on their lack of merit.
For example: we built a deck for a family, and put all the pressure
treated wood scraps (small) into our job cleanup bags. We had them in
a secure area, the trash container corral built by the owner. We
agreed together that the bags would be "OK" in there. These bags were
for next day pickup by me.
Their little wire haired terrier puppy dug out of the yard, under the
trash enclosure fence and tore open my cleanup bags as well as their
trash bags. He ate a piece of the pressure treated wood along with
some other assorted kitchen trash, and was dead in two days.
Yet, even though I had counseled them on the very issue of leaving the
PT wood alone and we scrupulously policed the area at the end of each
day, (I was actually more afraid of their kids eating or handling the
wood chips) they felt like I was responsible. They wanted $10,000 or
they would sue. How was this my fault?
He had NO problem finding an attorney to take the case. But in the
end, why was the case dropped since it never made it before a judge?
As a contingency case, it was iffy, and besides not enough dough in
it. Anyone here that has required the services of a lawyer for the
smallest of problems knows that it is a minimum of $5K to the attorney
if the court case actually goes to court.
So I told them, "I'm so sorry for your loss, I can understand your
pain in this. But do what you need to do. Sue me if you feel like
that's the right thing to do."
I am sure what happened was that when their attorney told them that,
he knew IF he found judge that would hear it, that he would probably
be limited to the $5K commission on his part, and it would be tough
sledding at that.
I suspect the attorney dropped the client, not the other way around.
It is indeed litigious times we live in. And as people feel less and
less responsible for themselves, their own personal welfare, their own
actions and decisions, I can only assume it will get worse.
For instance, I refuse to put sharp, square corners on island
countertops and any other corner that protrudes into the room/kitchen.
They're eye-height at a certain age and kids DO run around on nice
slippery floors on sock feet. Almost always does the client 'get it'.
I have had to walk away from a job just a few times.
I guess CR had a slow day and had to find something to write about.
According to the CPSC report, 7 deaths were caused in 2006 by
furniture...okay stupid people and furniture. Compare that to about
70 people a day in car accidents.
I guess that's why my car insurance is a hell of a lot higher than my
On Thu, 16 Oct 2008 00:03:16 -0700 (PDT), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Our liability insurance (required by state law) is about $550 a year.
It covers any liability for our company/employees any time we are on
the job. It covers damage, personal injury (on anyone except us and
employees) and product liability. Employees get covered by
workman's comp which is priced dependant on earnings.
Since my shop is at home the policy will only cover something
manufactured for and sold through the business.
Wow... are we getting screwed down here in sunny Texas. Our liability
policies are sold by the $100,000 increments, and they are so
expensive only the largest of companies have them. If our state
required them probably 98% of businesses would be gone based on their
current pricing structure.
The last year I had a GL policy for my company (more than 10) I paid
about $10,000 for the policy. I was doing significantly more work
then, but I had to drop it as they wanted more than that to renew.
The GL policies have premiums calculated on the cost of the jobs, and
my insurance guy told me that I couldn't get one now even if I wanted
to as I don't do enough business in these slow times.
Our workmen's comp is figured like yours.
I wonder if we were all actually >required< to have a GL policy if it
would put it in reach like yours. I sure wouldn't mind a few hundred
for the piece of mind of knowing you had a little protection if things
Thanks for the response.
Subject dear to my wallet. Occasionally I've had to cough up, after an
insurance audit, when one of my subs has let his lapse/expire during the
job. Typically, a painter pays around $2500/year, and a trim carpenter
around $1800/year, per $100,000 of GL coverage ...the minimum required to
set foot on a construction site in our city (West University Place, TX).
At the time I was doing work that required a GL policy, I was listed
as a General Contractor/Repair Maintenance Contractor, which is my
Needless to say, at this point in my business, I can no longer afford
to do business with those people. I simply couldn't do enough
business with those clients to keep up with the burgeoning cost of
By the time I paid my Workmen's Comp, state unemployment and my GL
policy, I was actually working for the insurance companies.
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