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#7636 - 02/13/02 06:03 PM Law Suits
Nick Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 603
Loc: Riverside, CA
Just a note to all of you in business out there. Remember to cover you self at every turn.
Without going into a lot of detail, I was informed the other day that we lost a case I was called to testify at.
At XXXXX Theme park our scope was to run conduit and control wire to a “ride console” that was provided, installed and connected by the owner. With said park about to open and no control console in site we were directed to “make safe” all the cable hanging out there. We installed a “temporary” box over the conduit, on top of the concrete. (The area was supposed to be non-public) We finish the job and go away. 3 years later we find ourselves in a lawsuit because a “guest” tripped over said box (which by this time was painted a bright color and had a traffic cone on top) and was injured. (Non public area remember)
We lost due to the contract language stating we agree to indemnify the GC of any and all occurrences resulting out of our work.

I guess we should have known the ride console would never be installed, [note to self] take class in telepathy[/note] gone back on our own, saw cut the concrete and recessed the box.
You just can’t win these days.
This will defiantly hurt the bottom line. But if we were a small contractor it would probably be utterly devastating.

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#7637 - 02/13/02 07:45 PM Re: Law Suits
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Nick,

That's a shame. It sounds like you did everything right and as you were directed to do. I can't see the liability. Would you still be responsible if the console was put in and then taken out again? I would think that if they painted it that it means they are aware of it as a possible hazard and if they didn't ask to have it removed they accept all responsibility for it. sheesh!

Bill

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#7638 - 02/14/02 09:11 AM Re: Law Suits
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
This is just sypmtomatic of how lawsuit-crazy people are these days.

It seems like your company lost the case on a technicality. Favorite lawyers trick....
_________________________
Peter

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#7639 - 02/14/02 03:08 PM Re: Law Suits
dana1028 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 163
Loc: San Carlos, CA
One of my electrical instructors at college is also an expert witness (for the state, insurance companies, etc.) - he told us of a case involving a fire...they wanted to sue the electrician for something he had nothing to do with....electrican felt pretty safe as he had nothing to do with the fire....started somewhere else in the bldg. where he had not done any work....the lawyer gets him up on the stand and asks if he has a calibrated inch-pound screwdriver....electrician says 'no' and the lawyer proceeds to turn to the jury and explain how it is the electricians fault for the fire because he didn't install any the the panel/breaker equipment per mfr's specifications...etc, etc...."thus causing blah, blah, blah".

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#7640 - 02/14/02 05:04 PM Re: Law Suits
Nick Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 603
Loc: Riverside, CA
Bill, that was our feelings exactly.

We are even being sued for a job that was done 25 years ago. I don't know any of the particulars but how many remodels do you think went on (retail market) during that time. Needless to say we have nothing to go on. Any one who had anything to do with it is long since retired and any paperwork gone.
Who knows how that one will come out.

So we all need to get inch pound screwdrivers for our tool bags?! How many devices are actually terminated with one. Actually we are doing that in our pre-fab shop. One of the things the guys do is put pigtails on receptacles assembly line style with torque screwdrivers. Guess they cant get us on that one!

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#7641 - 02/14/02 08:01 PM Re: Law Suits
dana1028 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 163
Loc: San Carlos, CA
Inch-pound screw driver - actually if you look at the circuit breakers,panel lugs...every single termination in a panel/breaker has an inch-pound torque rating and all that information comes with the panel board/cabinet/circuit breaker ....I've started noticing that stuff ever since that class.

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#7642 - 02/14/02 08:25 PM Re: Law Suits
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
Yeah, but have you noticed that the factory over-torques the screws and bolts? The hardware is stressed before it even gets on the job!

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