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Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?

  • From: Hannigan, Martin
  • Date: Tue Dec 27 19:03:48 2005

Title: Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?

We didn't want it the first time. Try network operations.

(rushes to finish the jc dill killfile entry)

 -----Original Message-----
From:   JC Dill [mailto:lists05@equinephotoart.com]
Sent:   Tue Dec 27 18:01:29 2005
To:     NANOG
Subject:        Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?


Here is the link again:

<http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm>

Please spend some time reading that site to educate yourself about the
facts and common misconceptions about this incident before you try any
further analogies based on it.

In *this* case the injured woman had done most[1] of the reasonable
things one should do to try to mitigate injury, but she was seriously
injured and the seriousness of the injury was directly due to the
product being defective.  McDonalds was held liable because they
knowingly and intentionally sold a defective product even after having
over 700 prior incidents (serious burns) reported to them due to this
defect (the coffee being too hot).

Jason Frisvold wrote:

>Still, a little common sense...  Hot coffee of any type, between the
>legs, in a moving car?  Umm..  even "normal" coffee still causes a
>jump of pain.  That jump of pain could easily cause a car accident.
>
<quote>
Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge
that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when
she spilled the coffee; neither is true.
</quote>

The coffee wasn't just "hot", it was much too hot to be safely
consumed.  Note that

<quote>
[if the] spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have
cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn
</quote>

and

<quote>
The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer
third degree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of
the cup was not a "warning" but a "reminder" since the location of the
writing would not warn customers of the hazard.
</quote>

Now let us consider Microsoft's continued sales of defective Windows and
IE software given their track record for failing to ensure that their
product works safely and doesn't enable others to cause damage to the
user's system and data or (of primary importance to the networking
community) the systems and networks of others:

<http://bcheck.scanit.be/bcheck/page.php?name=STATS2004>

Even if the end user updates their Windows/IE software the minute a
security update is available, their browser would still have been
vulnerable for all but 7 days in 2004!  I wonder how 2005 has been
shaping up.  Hmmm.  I wonder if Stella's lawyers would like to take on
Microsoft....

jc

[1]  The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount
was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at
fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in
punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds' coffee
sales.

Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the
local Albuquerque McDonalds had dropped to 158 degrees fahrenheit.

The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 --
or three times compensatory damages -- even though the judge called
McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful.





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