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Just got me thinking

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  • Just got me thinking

    On the Ask the pro thread there is a thread about a gas leak and it got me thinking. Do you suppose (and god knows I'm no lawyer) that if any one of us were to give advice to a homeowner here on the forum, and somehow he, his property, or someone else was injured or damaged. Would the homeowner have legal recourse against us.?
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  • #2
    Re: Just got me thinking

    I don't know but I made a comment a while back about this very thing. Going off common sense, I can't imagine there is recourse due to bad advice just because of the sheer number of "help" forums vs accidents. I've never read in the newspaper "Man and family blow up house due to husband following online advice" or something to the effect.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Just got me thinking

      I'm sure anything is possiible with the current state of our legal system.

      I would think we would be protected by many states good samaritan laws ( like helping people in car accidents).

      Does Ridgid not have a Disclaimer attached to that section of the board? I have not gone in there yet...

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      • #4
        Re: Just got me thinking

        http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/announcement.php?f=11

        its been up a couple years now.... maybe more.

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        • #5
          Re: Just got me thinking

          "Ultimately, what all this discussion of disclaimers has led to is an affirmation of the basic principle that courts are unlikely to find liability in the giving of general information but will continue to find a professional-client relationship, and hold parties liable, when specific advice is given. In light of the fact that professionals will likely not be able to disclaim themselves out of liability, it is next important to discuss the legal, ethical, and policy reasons behind holding professionals to their professional duties. "

          http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m..._n8939899/pg_7
          Last edited by Hondahead; 03-15-2008, 11:19 PM.
          You will never expand your mind, if you do not challenge your beliefs.

          By the reading of this post, you acknowledge and agree that the poster shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any content contained herein.

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          • #6
            Re: Just got me thinking

            I don't know if a person could be held liable for what is said. I do know the nature of some people. Some people have more money than brains and some people would sue just to make a point. Even if the suit is frivolous, who pays for your lawyer?

            I am not a lawyer.
            Last edited by Tyman; 03-16-2008, 08:44 AM.
            Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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            • #7
              Re: Just got me thinking

              Were probably ok as long as he doesn't spill his hot McDonald's coffee in his lap causing him to drop his Winston cigarette on the floor causing a spark that ignites the gas while reading the forum.
              ________
              Honda RC212V history
              Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 05:43 PM.
              Mike

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              • #8
                Re: Just got me thinking

                atlest for most of us we keep our names and companies anomuse for such reasons. i read the disclaimer on hondaheads posts and it gets me thinking .
                i gave advise to a homeowner about running an undergraoung gasline and thought i was quite specific about using the yellow poly pipe with steel risers. i was wirking at his nabours again a few months later and seen he used black pe pipe insteat with accorn fittings...eeeep
                how is it that so many answers are in the instructions

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                • #9
                  Re: Just got me thinking

                  One thing to consider is the specific state laws regarding plumbing.
                  Here is one of the hardest, people seem to treat me like it's just my opinion, or I'm being overzealous...but the fact is it's actually illegal to do plumbing work without a license here.

                  Technically, you're a criminal if you install your own faucet..LOL...DON'T kill the messenger here!
                  Simply offering a homeowner in my state advice on doing potentially hazardous work could put a plumber at fault, by default. Effectively I could be aiding & abetting.
                  Sound silly?
                  So did the lady suing McDonalds over coffee that was too hot...$2mil later.

                  Another way to look at it, your new in self employment...you decide to give in and give the customer a break on price over the phone...you get there to find serious problems with the piping involved and rather than explain the additional work to the customer for fear of losing the job, you rush the job and get a callback.

                  Are you not liable because the price was low?
                  Alternatively,
                  Are you not liable because the price was free?
                  I'm not a lawyer, I don't know.

                  I was shocked when I first started dabbling online, seeing some of the openly given advice from professional plumbers.
                  I even Emailed the owner of another forum asking him if he had any concerns for being held liable...he thought I was kidding.
                  We've since become friends, he is still amazed at the differences in code enforcement here vs his state.

                  Another thing, there is often no possible way to completely illustrate in text whats real...an example:
                  Last week a guy was here asking how to set his boilers high limit, somehow he decided to mess with setting on the gas valve itself.
                  His argument in court in my state could be: "But they told me to turn the high limit control...wasn't that it?"

                  Again, PLEASE don't take this out on me, it's the law here...I'm not the guy who makes the laws.
                  It's ingrained in plumbers from day one here, NO unlicensed work.
                  Took me awhile to learn the mentality of other states, I never realized we were such "plumb nazi's".

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                  • #10
                    Re: Just got me thinking

                    great question can sound advise be used against you any more than stupid advice be it this forum or a wanabee at lowes, i think common sense must rule the day,as a license gas installer i saw the post and my reply would have been to a call qualifed person out to handle that situation. not knowing how capable any of these people are good advise can become bad in the hands of the wrong person. as for lawyers dont even get me started.
                    Last edited by aero1; 03-16-2008, 07:42 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Just got me thinking

                      Duckbutter, I understand what you are saying. I get asked all the time to do work without a permit or if I tell people that I can't do something the way they want because its illegal, they sometimes want to argue!!! I just politely tell them that its my job to do everything by code and I won't risk losing my license just to please one customer....if they don't like what they hear I walk away.
                      Luckily most people see this as a testament to my professionalism and integrity and they respect it and have me do the work. Of course there are always the tire-kickers who just don't care about quality or code and I don't work for that crowd.
                      Also I won't stand for people who call me wanting advice on the phone, what do they think I am... a free consultant for charity?
                      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                      • #12
                        Re: Just got me thinking

                        Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                        not knowing how capable any of these people are good advise can become bad in the hands of the wrong person. as for lawyers dont even get me started.
                        Extremely good point, having met dozens of folks in person from online forums, I can honestly say the mental image you conjure while you get to know them online is very often not the case in real life.
                        For what it's worth, I met my wife in an online forum...she turned out to be much more than I'd pictured.

                        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                        Duckbutter, I understand what you are saying. I get asked all the time to do work without a permit or if I tell people that I can't do something the way they want because its illegal, they sometimes want to argue!!! I just politely tell them that its my job to do everything by code and I won't risk losing my license just to please one customer....if they don't like what they hear I walk away.
                        Luckily most people see this as a testament to my professionalism and integrity and they respect it and have me do the work. Of course there are always the tire-kickers who just don't care about quality or code and I don't work for that crowd.
                        Also I won't stand for people who call me wanting advice on the phone, what do they think I am... a free consultant for charity?
                        I truly hope you stick around, I relate to you on many levels...sounds like NC is alot like MA.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Just got me thinking

                          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                          Extremely good point, having met dozens of folks in person from online forums, I can honestly say the mental image you conjure while you get to know them online is very often not the case in real life.
                          For what it's worth, I met my wife in an online forum...she turned out to be much more than I'd pictured.



                          I truly hope you stick around, I relate to you on many levels...sounds like NC is alot like MA.
                          thats very cool how you met your wife, as for forums to some its a chance to be what and who ever they choose. can be a little weird

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                          • #14
                            Re: Just got me thinking

                            My daughter, in the uk, we talked about disclaimers only the other day, she is training to be a lawyer, and this subject came up and she said it is a MUST in todays society.

                            Do you no harm to add it.

                            Can cause #### if you don't.

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