Have you heard the story of the burglar attempting to steal a skylight off the roof of a high school gymnasium but ended up falling through becoming severely injured? Did you hear that he sued the school and was awarded $260,000?
Well, that story is mostly untrue.
The teenager was attempting to adjust a light to play basketball. While he was trespassing, he stepped through a skylight and did hurt himself. The problem was that the school had a previous incident and failed to act.
(I’ve also heard this story told as a burglar with a knife in someone’s house.)
The problem isn’t the inaccurate form of telephone. The problem is that many of us use this story to validate our fears.
That’s why it’s so important to cite in our era of fake news. It spreads unnecessary fear. People taking reasonable precautions about trampolines, pools, negative reviews should be fine.
While there is no doubt that we live in an era where we can be sued for the coffee being too hot, the risk of being sued is nowhere near as high as the fear of being sued.