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Fighting over WordsLanguage and Civil Law Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.001.0001

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Eva Andrews et al. v. Adobe Trailer Sales, Fleetwood Enterprises, and Generac Corporation

Chapter:
(p.83) CHAPTER 9 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Source:
Fighting over Words
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.003.0010

Shortly after a family of traveling carnival workers bought a new trailer, they woke up one morning ill and vomiting and found their young son was unconscious. The hospital's diagnosis was carbon monoxide poisoning, and this poisoning caused the son to have permanent brain damage. The family brought a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the trailer's generator. The linguistic analysis extensively compared the hazard statements put forth by the American National Institute (ANZI) with the owner's manual that came with their generator and also with a comparable owner's manual of a generator that they did not choose to purchase. The analysis included discourse topics and discourse sequencing on the topics of sleeping while the generator is running, the need to install a CO detector, the need for an exhaust fan, and the dangers of obstructing the generator's exhaust system.Other comparisons focused on the ambiguity of certain hazard statements, the speech act of warning, advice about how to avoid risks, and the relative clarity of style and format.

Keywords:   product liability, hazard statements, ANZI, discourse topics, discourse sequencing, ambiguity, speech act of warning, style, format

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