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Questions tagged [liability]

Use this for questions where the award of damages, or its possibility, is involved.

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46
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it illegal to infringe copyright if your boss or your client ordered you to do it?

The first possible scenario is this: suppose you work in a company, and you need to install some software for a client. The software needs to be purchased, but the boss tells you to just download it ...
36
votes
3answers
2k views

What legal liability does one's participation on Stack Exchange carry?

This question is motivated by a question which came up recently on engineering.SE: Cracks on the wall. It may be closed in the future so I will summarize. The user posted pictures of (very large) ...
33
votes
1answer
6k views

USA: Is “I am not a lawyer” disclaimer generally necessary?

Is it legally necessary to disclaim "I am not a lawyer" when engaging in casual conversation, writing Internet posts, etc. to avoid civil or criminal liability for one's comments? Specifically, in ...
27
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3answers
8k views

What are some possible law suits or civil actions the Las Vegas shooting victims could take?

I assume that many, if not all of the businesses, corporations and individuals who were operating and supplying services at the time of the Las Vegas Strip shootings (Wikipedia) - such as hotels, ...
26
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6answers
4k views

How do free-speech protections in the United States apply in public to corporate misrepresentations?

Last night, I was driving behind a truck that had a very official-looking sign like this: (Sign says, "WARNING STAY BACK 200 FT. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BROKEN WINDSHIELDS!") Some cursory Googling ...
23
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3answers
10k views

How to mitigate the risk of getting sued by clients (web dev contracting)

I'm a web dev and I'm thinking about becoming a contractor. I feel a little uneasy about the possibility of someone potentially trying to sue me. If, for example, a client wants an e-commerce website ...
21
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4answers
7k views

Can I sue an app for enabling harassment?

Can I sue an app for emotional distress? My soon-to-be ex-husband has been using a fake phone number app in order to impersonate: my child's school the coroner's office the police officers who are ...
21
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5answers
8k views

Can I booby-trap my property against police?

Inspired by this question: Suppose I'm paranoid (perhaps justifiably) that law enforcemen might conduct a warranted raid of my property. So I setup booby-traps that are designed to either: A. ...
19
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3answers
7k views

Can one be liable for poisoning food one expects to be stolen?

A friend of mine posted about how someone keeps stealing her food at work, and I recommended she lace it with some insanely hot hot sauce. Someone else commented that she could be liable for ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Do warranty disclaimers in software licenses carry any legal weight?

Most open source software licenses contain, in capital letters, the following disclaimer: THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

By selling a flagged solution to a student to catch them cheating, would the seller be liable for the breach of contract?

This is a follow up question to this HNQ question from academia. Suppose a student S posts an assignment for school/university/... on a freelancer website. A faculty member F sees this and agrees to ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Is saying “Sorry” assuming fault?

I am unsure where I heard of this, but the basic premise is that if an individual in says "Sorry" either to law-enforcement or to another party, they are in effect, assuming fault for a given action. ...
12
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3answers
8k views

If I accidentally leaked my school's IP address and someone attempts a DDoS attack on my school am I at fault?

I found my schools IP address and if it accidentally got out and my school got a DDoS attack am I liable for damages? (I'm in Colorado if that helps.)
12
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1answer
424 views

What is “unjust enrichment?”

What is unjust enrichment under the law? It's understandable if associated with liability for wrongdoing. Apparently, this is not a necessary condition. How does it operate independently of liability ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is homeowner liable for police injury during raid

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that a person is very paranoid about intruders, government, end of the world, so on. They decided to buy some land and have a fence around the property with clear ...
10
votes
1answer
929 views

What liabilities do the police/CPS have if you are found innocent?

Being accused of a crime you did not commit is an expensive problem. The police may kick your door in and ransack your house looking for evidence. They may deprive you of your property (phones, ...
8
votes
1answer
677 views

If Person A gets permission to use Person B's computer, but uses it for illegal activities, who is held liable?

I had this idea to make a network where people can get paid to let other people use their computer for computing purposes. Let's say they got permission to use Person B's computer under terms and ...
8
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3answers
16k views

Is one obligated to disclose they are Divorced (rather than Single) on government and financial forms?

I'm a recent divorcee in the U.S. and over the course of the last year I've noticed on a number of different Medical, Insurance, Social Networking and Financial entry forms that when filling out ...
8
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2answers
195 views

What are the legal risks associated with a business or organization that provides insurance for fare dodging?

I'm wondering about the legality of a system like planka.nu (Swedish subway fare dodgers) (More info here: NPR article and Planka.nu site) as they would be implemented in the USA. Is there any law or ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

Liability of posting potentially dangerous articles on blog

I work with electronics and some of it requires working with potentially dangerous voltages which could cause severe injury or fatality. So my question is this: If I decided to start a blog and write ...
7
votes
1answer
352 views

Legal effect of “I am a health care professional” buttons on medical websites

Similar to this question. Many websites containing medical information intended for medical professionals require that the user assert that he/she is one before the content can be accessed. Merck ...
6
votes
2answers
819 views

Do immunity agreements really work?

Suppose I commit a murder of a federal official and get away with it. Later I discover that some other unfortunate individual is being prosecuted for the murder I committed. I feel sorry for him, so ...
6
votes
3answers
552 views

What is the legality of implementing an unrevealed killswitch in software?

In this hypothetical, the poster describes the following: during employment with his/her employer, the poster invents and patents a method (in his/her free time) that it turns out, is useful for his/...
6
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1answer
122 views

Waiver of liability: can I be required to waive an institution from liability from its negligence?

A certain University in New Jersey is holding a conference and organising an afternoon of excursions and leisure activities. It requires that participants sign a waiver containing the clause (emphasis ...
6
votes
2answers
937 views

Difference between employer vicarious liability and personal liability

The Health and Safety in Employment Act in New Zealand is a criminal provisions act. So employers can be both vicariously and personally liable for actions of their employees. When may an employer be ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Remove liability for user submitted content

I run a website and recently had a small legal dispute with content posted by a user. A copyright owner wanted me to remove content, I acknowledged the request, requested for proof of ownership, ...
5
votes
2answers
994 views

What prevents companies form putting “You can't sue me” in their disclaimer?

In a disclaimer or a Terms of Use document, there are often pages and pages of statements like "We are not liable if you do this", "We are not liable if you do this", "We will not give more than $50 ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Who is responsible for getting the tree removed?

A big storm passed through our area and a bunch of trees fell. This one tree is kind of in a weird situation. The tree is technically on my neighbors property and it fell towards our house. However, ...
5
votes
2answers
18k views

Getting the neighbor kids off my lawn?

We've had 4 sets of neighbors kids grow up around us with no issue. Nice kids, nice parents, etc. The latest family has two young boys who like to camp out on my lawn and in my garden. I'm aware of ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

To what degree do I have to comply to COPPA in this scenario?

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is designed to restrict sites collecting information about children under the age of 13 years of age. If I am operating a general purpose web ...
5
votes
2answers
715 views

Open Source Software and Legal Responsibility for Software Content

I'm working with a few folks on updating some serious software for mechanism design. Engineered mechanisms have existed in the world now for a few hundred years or so. The science here isn't really ...
5
votes
1answer
399 views

USA: Does a user who has falsely stated that he/she has read an EULA or similiar agreement risk liability solely for the false statement?

Many software products and Internet services require that users agree to an EULA or terms of service agreement before the product or service can be used. The user is often required to state that he/...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Who is liable for damage?

Consider the following situation: The red car and blue car are both reversing in the above situation. Just as the red car was in front of the blue car's space, the blue car reversed out crashing ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Is an agreement enforcable that makes parents liable for a child’s behavior at school?

Hypothetical facts Alice is 17 (a legal minor). Alice attends the 12th grade at Bob High School (BHS), a California public high school. BHS loans Alice a laptop to do her school work. As a condition ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Are booby-traps illegal if they don't harm humans?

I saw this image today: [![4chan post][2]][2] For the sake of this question, let's assume it happened in the front yard of the poster's house (so on his property) If this really did happen, would ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Who is liable, the franchise owner or franchising company?

Suppose a car was damaged by a body shop (or similar shop) and the shop refused to cover the cost of repair. (Assume the damage done is not related to work performed. For example, engine is damaged ...
4
votes
2answers
909 views

Buying a vehicle that may have been involved in a hit-and-run

I was interested in buying a truck from someone in Kentucky, USA. A friend said he heard the person selling it had performed a hit-and-run about a month earlier. No one was hurt, but police were ...
4
votes
2answers
498 views

Pay electricity bill after being evicted on no contract?

I moved into a house and started paying rent of $110 per week however I was unaware that none of the other tenants (and hence myself) were on a contract so we were essentially squatters. The ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Is employer responsible for tree damage to car parked in their lot (New Jersey, USA)?

During high winds a tree branch fell on my car while parked at my workplace. The cops were called, but the responding officer said that it was private property and my employer's responsibility. He ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

Is there liability for pure accidents?

I am trying to determine the principled limits, if any, on when a person may be held financially liable for damage to another ("the victim"). I'm specifically interested in the case when damage is not ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do I have to sign a Corrective Warranty Deed for land I had no claim to?

I've found it get hard to get clear information on this subject, but here's the best I can come up with: My wife's maternal grandmother inherited land from her husband. Some of that land was sold to ...
4
votes
2answers
391 views

Do I count as a non profit and not need to comply with COPPA?

I have a website for a fan game. We do not profit from it in any way. We don't even have ads nor donations. Do we count as a non-profit and are therefore exempt from complying with COPPA under Section ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

Are officials shielded from implementing an executive order later considered unconstitutional?

Suppose that the President of the United States issues an executive order that violates the constitution. Can officials carrying out the executive order be considered guilty of violating the ...
4
votes
3answers
339 views

Am I liable for work-related duties?

If I, knowingly, break a site's terms of use (in a way like copying its material, when it explicitly states it's forbidden) as part of my job (I have written proof that my boss assigned me this task, ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

Does Canada have a less litigious culture than the United States?

I have an anecdotal question about the legal culture in Canada that is based on a personal observation of mine and may not be answerable here definitively. But here goes: Last summer my family and I ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Is a public establishment liable for insect stings?

If a patron gets stung by, say, a wasp, while seated in a restaurant, can the patron sue the restaurant for pain & damages? Would an allergy to wasp stings make the case stronger? Would it matter ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

Would a community website be liable if members took it upon themselves to start privately trading items between each other?

Consider a scenario where a community site, based in Switzerland, with an international member base has two memberships: free accounts and premium subscription-paying accounts. The primary service ...
4
votes
1answer
342 views

Must a natural spring be disclosed when buying a house?

I purchased a home last fall just to discover, come spring, that it was on a natural spring. It turned out that the spring is water table dependent and as such was not present during the time of the ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

Are there doctrines of contract law that limit potentially open-ended liability?

Sometimes when you have a contract with another party, the exact dollar amount that you as a customer would owe is not firmly specified. Instead there may be a statement about what would be the charge,...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Can I be liable for damages for wrong advice I give on a Stack Exchange site?

I often help people out on different stack exchange websites and never have any issues whatsoever. I usually answer questions on the Apple stack exchange website. I was wondering, if I give out ...