Dopey Letter of the Day (IV)

Where else but the New York Times?

To the Editor:

Who should bear responsibility when consumers use products, such as cellphones, in unreasonably dangerous ways? Generally, the narrative of personal responsibility has precluded courts from allocating a share of responsibility to product suppliers.

But when we focus on the aggregate things look different.

Cellphone suppliers know that in the aggregate a predictable and high percentage of consumers will fail to exercise reasonable personal responsibility and drive while texting or talking. These companies know that no warning will alter this predictable behavior.

Given the completely predictable way consumers will use the product, selling cellphones is not so different from releasing a deadly toxic agent. In both cases a certain predictable number of innocent people will die.

The misuse of cellphones by drivers is too predictable and too unavoidable to shield cellphone suppliers from partial responsibility.

Carlos E. González

Newark, Dec. 7, 2009

The writer is a professor at the Rutgers University School of Law.

Well, really what did you expect from a lawyer? There’s nothing too useful or too beneficial that some ambulance-chasing parasite won’t try to attach itself to and suck the life out of. Mr. González is just one of their enablers.

P.S. It’s my habit to omit the names of the letter writers in this sporadic series in order to spare them any further embarrassment. But Mr. González is an attorney who just had to append his professional affiliation to his missive. How can you possibly further embarrass someone like that?

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