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Liability

SpeyFitterSpeyFitter Posts: 421Member
I just saw the post by the gentleman concerning  the white crap in his GB142, I'm somewhat familiar with (at least from cleaning the HX-er out and what to do that way). I typed up a whole post on exactly what to do with recommendations, etc. but then I stopped myself. I made mention of the fact he should use a combustion analyzer afterwards to check it out, as well as soap test all connections, and use a proper CO and GAs Leak detector to confirm it's safely put together on top of recommending that if he damages gaskets while taking it apart the few times you need to do it to do the procedure, that he should replace them. However I am concerned that he might print this out, use it, and then what if something happens? What if this homeowner takes this professional advice I may give him, and kills himself and his family? and the only thing left are the instructions I type beside the boiler on a stool that the Coroner or his family finds? Would I be at fault?

This site is a great service for a person who is interested in heating and looking for help (I like to use it to network with other contractors and garner information to make myelf better), however something needs to be said for liability.

Dan perhaps you can offer some insight in this regard. It's not that I don't want to help, but as a Gas Fitter (and plumber, and hydronic tech & designer) it's my duty and responsibility as per my Provinces Gas Safety Act to act responsibly. This means recognizing an unsafe condition and shutting things down, and overall being responsible for the safety and protection of people, and property.
Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber

Comments

  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,725Member, Moderator, Administrator
    It's just chat.

    Just like in real life. We've never had anyone sue anyone else over something posted on the Wall in all the years this site has been up. The group polices itself. If there's bad advice, others jump on it immediately. This is a very professional site, with very smart people, and I've never been concerned. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,843Member
    'Tis a litiguous society in which we live...

    Scott, you have a better chance of being sued for your day to day work than you do being nailed for something you posted here on the wall. If you are really paranoid about it, CYA with caveats. For example, "This work should be done by a qualified, licensed, trained professional only"



    I guarantee you there is someone out there who can blow holes in that statement too, but at least in the eyes of the courts, you made an effort to get the message across to the end user.



    If we worry about those extremely remote chances of being sued, we will all die of an ulcer, and the general public will do themselves in without any professional advice.



    Relax, gives us your input. Fred is actually a very reasonable man. In fact he is a locomotive electrician. He knows when to say when and call in a professional, he just likes to be hands on.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • SpeyFitterSpeyFitter Posts: 421Member
    Just want to make sure...

    The difference between this and real life, however, is this is in writing with names attached. That is my concern, and not only will I be sued should the worst come around, but the site and the site owner could be sued.  Also, what are the chances where someone such as myself who lives on the West Coast when every one of you guys back east (like last night) is in bed, posts something, the owner wakes up, prints my post immediately before the site police get online, and proceeds to do something he or she shouldn't? Not trying to be a whiner or complainer, however just gotta cover my (and your) arse and make sure.

    Also, I don't know the posters background, or what he or she is capable of. And they could be the most capable handyman on earth but it doesn't mean they completely understand the ramifications or dangers of dealing with a gas fired appliance. Isn't it sad that something like 70% of all Lawyers in the world are in the United States? I wonder why?

    In all honesty I've given out advice before online, but when it comes to something that can be misconstrued and cause death (I don't worry about whether I'll be sued about everything, but this is an example that I feel requires some attention), I think we need to realistically sit down and come up with a real site policy. Why not be proactive instead of reactive here? Just like many of you will recommend installing a low water cut off instead of leaving the feed valve on,  a gas fired appliance requires a trained technician.
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,725Member, Moderator, Administrator
    What Mark said . . .

    and with more than 430,000 posts so far just on The Main Wall alone, not counting all the thousands of posts that went on the Wall before this version of the site, there has never been a lawsuit, or even a suggestion of a lawsuit.



    I'm not at all concerned.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,632Member
    Isn't it sad that something like 70% of all Lawyers in the world...

    I do not know if that number is correct or not.



    However, I like the remark that 90% of the lawyers are giving the rest of them a bad name.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,837Member
    A genuine concern

    but -- this is what liability insurance is for.  Before I retired, I carried what was called "errors and omissions" insurance.  It wasn't cheap -- about a third of any billing I had went to the e&o premium -- but that's no different from a doctor's malpractice insurance.  It wasn't really to pay the cost of a judgement, although of course it would have had I ever had one, but to pay the lawyers' fees.



    Presumably if you are in a position to be genuinely concerned about this sort of thing, you should carry some type of liability insurance -- or, as some others of my friends have done, arrange things so that you have absolutely no assets at all.



    I would, however, remind folks of FDR's remark: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  I we all were to refrain from giving advice -- on anything, whether what to do in the particular instance of this post, or what route to take to the grocery store, or whom to date, or whatever, we would destroy society.  I hope that that doesn't happen...
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 4,256Member
    Scott worry about nothing

    I have been posting here a long time and we have had some real interesting discussions and along with that opinions some very good some actually wrong. As Dan says and he knows no one has ever threatened to sue here, may be punch someone out or defame someone but no body gets sued



    Along with that I have been in the Natural gas and Propane business for many years and for a lot of those years I have been an instructor. If ever anyone was going to get sued it would be for mis leading someone in the educational forum. I have never even been threatened with a law suit so offer your knowledge here and we look forward to hearing what you have to say. i for one would be interested in a post of the GB142 as I am having a training session at my center next week on that very boiler.
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