Re: Free Speech on the Histonet
Geoff, Tammy, I concur with all that you said so well.
I personally spend thousands of dollars each year for lab equipment and
supplies. If I saw evidence that a company was trying to stifle free
expression of opinions I would no longer buy their products. There are a
thousand companies out there selling the same or similar products..
do they know who they are messin' with on the Histonet?
(I see a tee shirt..Don't Mess With Techses).
On Wed, 13 Mar 2002, Geoff McAuliffe wrote:
> Well folks I decided to weigh in with my $0.02 worth of opinion. The few
> vendors making threats are doing just that, making threats. This is ALL about
> INTIMIDATION. Could anyone of us be sued for expressing an honest opinion on
> Histonet (or anyplace else)? Perhaps in theory but very unlikely to impossible
> in practice. Yes, anyone can file a lawsuit over just about anything, we see it
> every day. However, the vendor has to find a lawyer to take the case. The
> lawyer will look at the time he/she will have to invest and the chances of
> winning and the chances of collecting a meaningful settlement, not to mention
> the bad PR.
> We as individuals probably won't be sued, we were offering an opinion in
> our professional capacity AND we don't have the "deep pockets" necessary to
> justify the time and money of the suit. So maybe our institutions will be sued.
> Of course they have lawyers and insurance for such events. Even if this gets to
> court a judge is going to ask the plantiff how someone saying "I prefer XYZ
> processor to ABC processor" different from saying "I prefer a Ford over a
> Chevy"? In our capatalist society competition is a fact of business life. Look
> at all of the commercials that say "this brand is best". Also, the standards
> for slander/libel are pretty high, otherwise all of the supermarket tabloids
> that print all of that ridiculous stuff would be broke and out business. There
> is also a legal concept of "malicious prosecution" (sorry, that is the criminal
> term, I don't know the civil term) by which you or your institution can
> countersue for the vendor's malicious action (sueing just to shut you up when
> they had no case).
> So their lawyer might write a letter to our supervisor and make vague
> threats. Are you going to get in trouble/suspended/fired over such an incident?
> I don't know but I would think that you would have to be on pretty slipery
> ground already.
> I'm done.
> "Barnhart, Tammy" wrote:
> > I realize many people wish this "vendor" thing would just go away, but I
> > feel we are dealing with a bigger issue here. Without the freedom to
> > express our views, favored procedures and past experiences (both good and
> > BAD) how is this forum going to survive? I will lose it's purpose of being
> > an open, interactive forum. If I become afraid to say that in my
> > experience, product A works better than product B, what good is it to
> > express my ideas at all? Many people ask," whose product works better for
> > you?" I am now afraid to answer, I might get sued. Or my administrator
> > will receive a nasty, threatening phone call. Vendors (except those that
> > produce the finest products) stand only to lose if the Histonet exists. We
> > are a user's group that can, through the free exchange of experiences, help
> > weed out the bad products and equipment from the good. Leaves only a few
> > vendors left, eh? If their products can not stand up to our (histologists)
> > practical experiences, than it is their job to better their products. Not
> > our's to shut up and not tell anyone. Think about it, are we ready to give
> > up this forum?
> > Tammy Barnhart, BS, HTL(ASCP)
> > Anatomic Pathology Supervisor
> > St. Alexius Medical Center
> > Bismarck, ND
> > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Oh Yea, The above opinions are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect
> > the opinions of my employer.
> Geoff McAuliffe, Ph.D.
> Neuroscience and Cell Biology
> Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
> 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
> voice: (732)-235-4583; fax: -4029
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