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Instruction Manual Litigation


Instruction Manual Litigation


A Norwegian friend of mine told me that a Swedish chainsaw manufacturer began marketing their product in the US, with an English language manual noticeably larger than the Swedish or Norwegian versions. News commentators explained with great humor in a report that this was because of all the additional warnings, including (they pointed out specifically) "Do not attempt to stop the chainsaw with your hand." This was made even more humorous a couple of years later, when they were saved a pile of money in a lawsuit brought by a U.S. citizen who was injured stopping the chainsaw with his hand. He was unable to collect, since the manual specifically warned against it. Rune surmised that the warnings were legally unnecessary in the Scandinavian manuals, since no Scandinavian would publicly admit to doing anything that stupid. I've always thought the problem could be solved if all products had a label on them stating:

Warning: This product not intended for use by stupid people.

Let this guy try to prove in court that, although he propped the ladder up on a manure heap, he is "not" stupid and didn't violate the instructions.




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