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1998-05-01 17:54:58


The Many Paths to a Y2K Lawsuit



Companies will be sued if the court system survives. There is almost no way that any firm can protect itself if it doesn't meet the deadline, and not many will.

This is from the Milwaukee BUSINESS JOURNAL (April 20).

* * * * * * *

"It's beyond the wildest visions of anyone, the amount of litigation that will happen," said Ross Kodner, president of MicroLaw Inc., a Milwaukee computer consultant to law firms.

Estimates of the costs and economic damage caused by the Year 2000 problem range from $119 billion to $600 billion in the United States, and more than $1 trillion worldwide. . . .

Among the areas where businesses could find themselves vulnerable are:

Breach of expressed or implied warranty, where a supplier didn't deliver a product on time or with the appropriate quality;

Breach of contract;

Misrepresentation of a computer's or software's Year 2000 compliance;

Deceptive practice in failing to disclose Year 2000 problems;

Product liability from injury or death resulting from malfunctioning medical or manufacturing equipment;

Securities law, where directors and officers in a publicly held company could be liable in a class-action lawsuit if stock values drop because of an undisclosed or unaddressed Year 2000 problem;

Criminal law, where states have criminalized the production or sale of systems or programs that result in damage.

Meanwhile, law firms are counseling their clients on ways to avoid landing in court in January 2000 -- as either plaintiff or defendant.


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