Problems in a sue happy culture
By oz on Jul 18, 2008
20 years ago, nobody would sue anyone in Australia, but these days the lawyers have won and insanity pervails. I went to the local hardware store and explained that I had found that a cupboard in my house was painted with lead paint which I wanted to remove and asked for help on which air mask I should use. The helpful man at the store immediately said he could no longer help me as lead paint was involved, apparently BBC hardware was sued by someone who had asked for help with lead paint and consequently contracted lead poisoning. I explained that I was fully aware of how dangerous lead paint was (hence why I wanted to remove it from my house) and just wanted to know how the gas masks work, not how to remove lead paint. No go, he couldn't give me any help. Fortunately he then looked both ways and whispered "you get what you pay for" That told me enough, ie buy the expensive mask as it will provide much better protection. But it also highlighted to me how liability laws mean that one person gets to dictate it for all of us these days. Coincidently friends of ours also had to remove lead paint from their house and did indeed end up with one person having lead poisoning, a very serious illness. The litigation laws are breeding a lack of knowledge and help when it should in fact be exactly the other way round.