[svlug] ISSUE: SVLUG's continued status with SBAY

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Feb 24 09:54:28 PST 2006


Quoting Bill Ward (bill at wards.net):

> Don't forget the Linux Picnic.  What if someone gets food poisoning or
> something?

The archtypical ambulance chaser's standard answer is "Sue everyone in sight."  
But, of course, in practice it tends to work out to "Sue whoever has
deep pockets and can be plausibly argued to be responsible."

Consult an attorney if you want professional certainty on this point,
but my understanding is that a corporate liability shield protects _only_ 
people acting within a strict "agency" relationship (scare quotes
indicating that I mean "agency" in its legal-term-of-art sense, not its
conversational one), such as writing Board minutes for a corporate
secretary or an employee acting within the scope of his employment role.

The point is that if I flip burgers at a Linux Picnic sponsored by SBAY
or LUGOD and someone gets salmonella, plaintiff is probably free to 
sue me personally, ignoring the corporate shield -- because I wasn't
nearly enough of a corporate vassal (per the law of agency) to qualify
for legal protection.

However, he/she's much more likely to sue Costco.  Most civil litigation
fairly predictably follows Sutton's Law.[1]

[1] "Go where the money is.  A reporter is said to have asked convicted
1930s bank robber Willie Sutton why he robbed banks.  He said, "That's
where the money is."





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