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Liability of Info. on THR

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Wichaka, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Wichaka

    Wichaka Well-Known Member

    Okay, since there have now been 2 threads that have been hijacked and headed for this area of THR. Let's now discuss it in the area where it should have been all along.

    What is the liability of info. going out on this and any other forum site?

    I agree with Tuner in that we do need to watch what is being put out here for some pot-licker to twist and run off with..........

    In another thread Jammer Six wrote;

    Commanders, captains, chairmen and foremen have authority to accompany their responsibility, and the lack of that authority is significant, and removes the responsibility- legally and, in my book, morally.

    Jammer I would agree with you totally in both our books, but in the world of L.E. work, we get sued for the term of "Failing to supervise". Therefore the lack of authority does not remove the responsibility.

    Now don't get me wrong here. I'm agreeing that if you tell someone to do something and they go off and do something else, unless you're right there being the micro-mgr., its going to be tough to take the responsibility for that person's actions, and I don't think anyone should in that circumstance. But, as one of the above people or even acting like one of the above people, and you give advice that ain't the best..........now where does that put you?

    So putting that in perspective as to info going out on this and other forums, if you are looked upon by others as a , for lack of a better term ".....self proclaimed pro 'smith" and you give someone advice on a procedure that is normally done by competant 'smiths, but the dude or dudess gets the procedure wrong and ends up hurting someone or themself.............where does that put things?

    Where does that put the rest of us who won't do such a thing?
    Kinda like, if you meet a bad Cop, they're all bad..........attitude.

    Okay folks fire away............
  2. psyopspec

    psyopspec Well-Known Member

    I like to think that it's only logical; there's a reason no one could successfully sue Marilyn Manson or the video game industry after Columbine. There's a reason that the Nobel Peace Prize is given to the advocate who does the work rather than musicians who sing about it.

    THR is an information and discussion site. Imagine for a moment the electronic element is removed, that we're all hanging out at the same gun club/hunting lodge/base, whatever. The same elements of information and ideas would be exchanged, but like any other advice, how it is used and whether it is taken or left is up to the reciever.

    I give a lot of credit to this site for expanding my knowledge on firearms, 2A issues, and for being an outlet of enjoyment. I could thank THR in helping to dictate my last firearms purchase, but ultimately I was the one that sought information and made the purchase.

    Hopefully liability in the sense that you mean it, with the implication of lawsuits and such, is null.
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I believe that's a worthy question, especially considering the number of assault lawyers wandering around looking for quick, easy money.

    If I owned a forum such as this, I believe I'd be inclined to make membership contingent upon digitally signing a waiver absolving me of any and all responsibility for the contents. That's not a pretty thing to do, of course, but a.) defending against frivolous and/or malicious law suits can be an expensive undertaking, and b.) when I ask models to sign model releases in advance of working with me, I make sure I define my rights and limit my liabilities, as well as the models' rights. (In case you're curious, my model release includes a specific prohibition against pornography.)
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    My 2% of a Buck

    Howdy Wichaka,

    I don't know if an internet forum owner could be held liable for misinformation, but in this day of litigation, it seems that there are frivilous
    lawsuits being won on BS grounds all the time. General examples come to mind such as:

    Dog attacks serial rapist upon entering woman's home...Rapist sues for damages and wins. Dog gets put down for doing his job. Woman moves into low-rent district because her liability insurance wouldn't cover the full amount of the judgement. Her lawyer sues for services rendered that she can't pay. She files bankruptcy, and applies for food stamps that she probably won't get.

    Burglar launches home invasion and attacks family members...Man of the house manages to get to his shotgun and kills attacker. Family of attacker
    files wrongful death suit...asks for a cool million, and wins.

    Ad nauseum.

    The largest percentage of the members and visitors here come for the
    camraderie and to gain useful information...We at least have the moral obligation to provide that...as well as give notice that something that some of them contemplating may be dangerous or illegal. Once that notice is given, it's out of our hands.

    It would also be reasonable to consider that other, less friendly eyes are likely on us too...looking for any reason to show proof that the anti-gun politicos are justified in working to take our 2nd Amendment rights. If
    someone here should put a dangerous theory into practice, gets hurt because of it, and it becomes known...would it be safe to assume that efforts would be made to recruit that person in order to promote a political agenda?

    How about an illegal act? Posting instructions on how to convert a semi-auto firearm into a full-auto weapon? Instructions on building a destructive device? At that point, the forum that so many of us consider a sort of home in cyberspace would be in the same class as The Anarchist's Cookbook...aznd we would not only be branded as home-grown terrorists, but some of us would very likely be subject to an investigation.

    There is already a standing disclaimer in place on the reloading forum, and
    the reasons for that are sound. Why should it be any less important to
    post a disclaimer to notify the readers that certain modifications to a firearm
    could be dangerous, illegal, or potentially ruinous in a civil action following a legally and morally justified act of self-defense?

    Let us all be responsible and sane. As I've noted before...this forum is an open book in a global public library. When the antis come to lurk....don't give them even more reason to believe that we should be denied our right to keep and bear arms. If they begin to see that we aren't really any different than they are, it's a step toward a workable modus vivendi.

    Regards all,

  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    As long as the owner of the forum doesn't have particulary deep pockets, and doesn't carry a lot of liability insurance, I think its unlikely a lawyer would try to go after them from a civil standpoint.

    The case would be iffy to begin with, and unless there is a bucket of gold at the end, a lawyer probably won't waste his time.

    I am convinced that about 99 percent of all medical malpractice suits would simply end, and tort reform thus become a moot point, if all the doctors in the country would simultaneously drop their malpractice insurance.
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    The quote:

    I am convinced that about 99 percent of all medical malpractice suits would simply end, and tort reform thus become a moot point, if all the doctors in the country would simultaneously drop their malpractice insurance.

    LOL Gunman...Either that, or there'd be a whole slew of broke doctors livin' in small apartments in the low-rent district...:D
  7. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Tuner, actually the trend of dropping malpractice coverage and "going bare" is catching on. This has happened in several places in Florida, and I attended a seminar recently where this was discussed.

    Without the potential for a big money pay off, there would be fewer suits. As it is, even if a lawyer has a bad case, he can often expect to shake tens of thousands of dollars out of insurance companies just so they dont have to go to court.

    By protecting your personal assets (which is the tricky part), there really is nothing for the plaintiff's attorney to go for.
  8. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member


    You can be sued for just about any thing, real or imagined. If the jury is composed of sane, logical, and rational people who don't have any personal ax to grind, you just might win. Or, maybe not....

    At any rate, you'd need some serious money to buy yourself a real good lawyer before you roll the dice.

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  9. goalie

    goalie Well-Known Member

    LMAO. Yeah, and without proof of insurance, they wouldn't have any hospitals that allowed them to work there. None. Nada. Zip. Why? Because then the hospital's own liability insurance would have to cover any doctor-related sentinal events.

    Without hospital privilages, an MD won't get far career-wise.
  10. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    I think that in order to be liable for information one has to consider the authority of the source.

    For example, if i asked a homeless person on the street if it were a good idea to drive my car into a brick wall i don't think that homeless person is laible for what i do with that information simply because I had no reason to trust him as an authority.

    Personally, i rank information gained on the internet about one (small) step above the nonsense ramblings of my local bums.
  11. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    None, nada, zip? How about Memorial Health System in Broward County, Florida? Do they count? Malpractice insurance is no longer required for physician priviledges.

    Dude, its beginning to happen in Florida, even as you sit there (under a rock) and laugh your ass off.

    Its a two way street. Hospitals don't do well when there are no physicians on staff either. Hospitals that don't alter their medical staff policies to accomodate uninsured or self-insured physicians don't retain physicians well.

    Check out this link for more info:

  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Fire! Fire!

    Gentlemen...Let us remain civil and try to stay on topic. :cool:

    Lone_Gunman...I furiously hope that the doctors in Florida are successful in setting a trend that sweeps the nation so that the lawyers who jump on these cases with eager anticipation of fast riches can start suing each other...and let the ethical attorneys regain their rightful, honorable niche in society. Doctors who are truly incompetent or negligent would be quickly weeded out with this approach, and hospitals would not allow such doctors to remain on staff for very long. Ambulance chasers would have to
    go back to actually practicing law.

    I'm a steadfast believer that frivilous lawsuits are a travesty, and would suggest the following solution...

    File your suit. There will be no settlement behind closed doors. It will go to trial. If your action is unsuccessful, the plaintiff pays ALL legal and court costs. If the plaintiff is unable to meet these costs, it falls back into the attorney's lap. If your suit is successful, the defendant assumes all costs,
    and the defending attorney is exempt from responsibility.

    Now...The playing field is a little more level. Still want to file suit?

    Comments? Point/counterpoint is invited.
  13. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    I would partially agree with you Tuner...

    Frivolous lawsuits are sometimes hard to differentiate from legitimate lawsuits until all the facts come out. For this reason, it is hard for me to really support tort reform that would eliminate someone's ability to sue. This makes me in a definite minority with my peers, who seem to want to just stop all lawsuits, legitimate or not.

    The other problem I see with tort reform is that it does not address the issue of incompetent physicians, who without the risk of being sued, can do even more damage. Peer review in the medical community is a joke. It is a major pain in the keester for a hospital to try to get rid of an incompetent physician, and when they try, often times it ends up in a big lawsuit anyway. Alternatively, the bad doctor may just leave town and set up shop elsewhere to avoid the controversy, but he still remains in practice. The medical community needs to be given the power to police itself, without the threat of legal action. As it is in this country, the only real way a bad doctor gets punished for being bad is when he can no longer buy malpractice insurance, and loses hospital priveledges as a result. Malpractice lawsuits are the only real peer review we have in this country right now.

    Out of court settlements should not be eliminated. Sometimes a plaintiff will be asking for much more than an injury is simply worth, and it is helpful for both sides to be able to reach an agreement without the pain and expense of a trial.

    I think the idea that the loser should pay court expenses is generally a good one. The plaintiff's lawyer should be able to tell whether he has a real case after depositions are taken from experts and the parties involved. If he still brings a frivolous case to court and then loses, I have no problem with the plaintiff having to pay court expenses.

    Ultimately though, as long as there is a big pot of gold at the end of the Malpractice Rainbow, unscrupulous lawyers will go looking for it.

    My solution to the medical malpractice is simple:

    1. Empower the medical community to police itself without fear.
    2. Eliminate mandatory malpractice insurance.

    This would get rid of the doctors causing the malpractice problem, and also eliminate the irrestible temptation of easy money for plaintiffs.
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Suits me!

    Good points, Gunman, and the right to sue shouldn't be negated...It should fall into the incompetent physician's lap personally. Malpractice insurance should probably capped off at responsibility for resultant medical costs for the original procedure and costs of correcting the mistake, and no more. Any punitive damages levied against the doctor would then be a separate action.

    I also agree that the medical community should police itself.

    Good points.

    Now then, about that question of responsibility/liability on this forum...

    c_yeager made a point to consider the source, and that's true enough...
    but there are several professional smiths on the board...and many knowledgeable amateurs, who would seem to have a moral responsibility
    to post a warning that what someone is contemplating could result in a dangerous condition. Moreover, the pros who post instructions for trigger/action work should be held to a little higher standard than the average internet commando. Any instruction should be explained clearly, in detail, accompanied by photographs, and all parts listed/named by manufacturer and part number if possible....and they should have a standard disclaimer that clearly states that putting these instructions into practice can result in a dangerous condition if incorrectly done. The reader, being duly forewarned, proceeds at his own risk.

    Sound reasonable?
  15. goalie

    goalie Well-Known Member

    Actually, I am sitting in a hospital where you cannot work as a physician without malpractice insurance. I guess when Florida had CCW and Minnesota didn't I should have just been happy, because what one hospital is doing in FL has no relevance to the situation here in the hospital I work at, or the other ones in the state.
  16. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Actually what Florida hospitals are doing is very relevant, as I think there will be a growing trend throughout the country (especially in markets where litigation risk is high) to stop requiring malpractice. Florida is serving as a testing ground for this.

    By the way, I am sitting in a hospital that also requires malpractice insurance... too bad though, because it is costing me about $50,000 a year... you want to guess who that bill gets passed on to?
  17. artherd

    artherd member

    ????, I thought we were adults.
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave (!) knows that we live in a litigious society where at the drop of a hat most anyone will sue someone else for anything. While any person or entity with money is fair game, firearms related suits are different in that they are often pushed by attorneys who are interested in inflicting injury on the firearms industry, and for that matter firearms buyers or owners. Besides being lawyers they are also anti-gun advocates who are often retained by well-heeled foundations or other organizations who are financed by any number of sources that are dedicated to removing what they call the “gun culture†from American life.

    In this context it is not necessary to win, just inflict the greatest possible damage on they’re opponents. So, for example, if a gun owner fiddles with the trigger pull on his pistol following instruction he read on an Internet forum, and someone gets hurt or killed, the suit that follows will likely be brought by him (backed by someone like the Brady Bunch) and include:

    > The Internet site for providing the information that misled the unfortunate trigger pull fixer

    > The gun’s manufacturer for not properly designing and/or making the gun so that it couldn’t be altered.

    > The retailer who sold the gun without giving the buyer the necessary instructions and explanations so he’d know that altering a trigger pull was dangerous.

    > And anyone else who is even remotely associated with the case that might be culpable.

    So can the bottom-feeder win this case? Maybe yes and maybe no, but what he intends to do is cause the parties he’s suing the greatest possible amount of money just simply defending themselves. And the way things usually work, Mr. Trigger-Fixer will probably get off without spending a penny, and under the best of circumstances from his point of view, may even make some. In any case his part is minor – he will simply be used as a pawn to attack bigger targets.

    The firearms trade is not the only victim. In recent years the anti-gun movement has made a major effort to close down gun shows, and has harassed industry trade organizations. Their true intent so far as gun shows go has nothing to do with gun sales, and everything to do with the fact that such shows provide an effective conduit between pro-gun advocates and political office seekers on one hand, and they’re most active supporters on the other. The same can be said about Internet forums such as The High Road. The anti-gunners have the ear and support of most of this country’s mass media. They cannot however, control the likes of Oleg, so they would undoubtedly love to find a way to silence him. What better way to do this then a lawsuit followed by bankruptcy?

    The high cost of guns combined with declining quality is to a large part caused by costs being paid out by the industry to protect themselves from this sort of legal blackmail. Within the Clinton Administration it was openly acknowledged policy to either drive the handgun industry into surrender, or into bankruptcy. They came very close to succeeding.

    So long as they have any assets the manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and others associated with the industry cannot give up liability insurance. To do so would be obvious folly. While doctors and contractors may be sued for their money, the gun industry in many cases is being sued to drive it into extinction.

    In this climate what 1911 Tuner proposes is both reasonable and prudent. Under the worst of circumstances the alternative might be to find ourselves without The High Road, but in the overall picture and considering the nature of our opponents there is a lot more at stake then that.
  19. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    You are correct in that Malpractice insurance is no longer required in that particular system. However you fail to mention that in order to practice in that hospital a physician has to at least be "self insured" for an amount not less than $250,000 cash. Not QUITE the same thing as running without any kind of insurance.
  20. Roadkill Coyote

    Roadkill Coyote Well-Known Member

    Hey! gitcher away from my shopping cart, I'm talking to God here! :cuss:

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