Obviously I do not know the situation at the company in question. We sold them equipment and they installed it. My point is not whether they had liability, but whether or not everyone else did.
The point of my Navy story was this: by bypassing the safeguards the Navy had in place, we assumed upon ourselves the liablity for our actions. Had the safeguards failed, their would have been liability upon the Navy. By our willful disregard for safety proceedures in place, we absolved the Navy of its liability. They did not put a gun to our head and say "ignore the safeguards", they set what we felt to be an unreasonable deadline, and we did what we could to comply with it. Had we failed to fulfil the deadline, we could have argued that it was unreasonable. We would not have been shot. In fact, we receieved an "attaboy" because we did what others had not done, but none of the others were the worse for not having done so. If that is interpreted as a "so, what!" attitude, so be it. Personal responsibility has to begin somewhere. Employers are not babysitters.
Similarly, the maintenance men at our customers facility were protected by laws against improper dismissal. Had the company terminated their employment for failing to meet an unreasonable deadline, they had avenues to persue for reinstatement or compensation. They assumed the liability by bypassing the safeguards.
Your discussion with Marye leads me to believe that one cannot understand complex legal questions unless one is familiar with the legal system. Yet, the courts will take a dozen people off the street (some of them blonde
) and expect them to undestand, within the period of a few days trial, complex issues of equipment design, maintenance practices, safeguards and liability. Both sides offer "experts" to tetify with conflicting data concerning issues that PhD's have difficulty with. Small wonder most juries go the simple route and "take from the rich and give to the poor".
BTW, Maybe you can help with a question that has bugged me for years:
The Constitution states that "In all cases, trials shall be held in the state in which the crime occurred, except in cases in which the crime occurs in no state, then trial shall be held in a place determined by Congress." Timothy McVeigh was tried in Colorado for blowing up a building in Oklahoma. I have yet to find a lawyer who can square that with the Constitution. There are no amendments that have altered that statement, and the trial was a Federal one, so It must be in compliance with the Constitution. Can you explain to me how that trial can be Constitutional. :confused:
If you have to rely on "penumbras" (also known as the "twilight zone" or "living breathing documents", my respect for you as a lawyer will be deminished (but not my respect for you as a gentlemen, which shall always remain high.)