Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist

Subject: Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist
From: Steven Jong <JONG -at- CREDTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 15:24:21 -0400

Nora Merhar <merhar%alena -at- alena -dot- switch -dot- rockwell -dot- com> kindly responded to my
attempt to start a letter-writing campaign on behalf of tech comm:

>>I thought that the reason manufacturers include warning labels on ANYTHING
>>was to protect themselves from liability. In other words, I think that
>>what Steven proposes already exists...

It's my understanding that warnings aren't sufficient to protect manufacturers
from liability suits, and further that instructions per se don't carry legal
weight at all. In my area of the country there are a lot of apple orchards.
Traditionally people could pick their own apples, but that practice is
swiftly ebbing as more and more customers sue the orchards (and ladder
manufacturers) because they climbed too high (above the "Do not stand on or
above" label) and fell off. To my mind, these are frivolous lawsuits, and
I'm proposing a possible solution that along the way helps our profession.

If my proposal were enacted into law, then product documentation would carry
legal force. It would make consumers much more likely to read their manuals!
It would also make manufacturers much more anxious to have good manuals!
To me, these are positives, any way you look at them 8^)

-- Steve
Steven Jong, Documentation Specialist ("Typo? What tpyo?")
Lightbridge, Inc, 281 Winter St., Waltham, MA 02154 USA
<jong -at- lightbridge -dot- com>, 617.672.4902 [voice], 617.890.2681 [FAX]

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