114 Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective
APPLICABLE REGULATIONS
Section 101 of the Year 2000 Readiness and Responsibility Act from the
U.S. Code (House Report 106-131) is given below:
SEC. 101. NOTICE PROCEDURES TO AVOID UNNECESSARY
YEAR 2000 ACTIONS.
(a) NOTIFICATION PERIOD—Before filing a year 2000 action, except
an action that seeks only injunctive relief, a prospective plaintiff shall
send by certified mail to each prospective defendant a written notice
that identifies, with particularity as to any year 2000 claim—
(1) any symptoms of any material defect alleged to have caused
harm or loss;
(2) the harm or loss allegedly suffered by the prospective plaintiff;
(3) the facts that lead the prospective plaintiff to hold such person
responsible for both the defect and the injury;
(4) the relief or action sought by the prospective plaintiff; and
(5) the name, title, address, and telephone numbers of any
individual who has authority to negotiate a resolution of the
dispute on behalf of the prospective plaintiff.
Except as provided in subsection (c), the prospective plaintiff shall not
commence an action in Federal or State court until the expiration of
90 days after the date on which such notice is received. Such 90-day
period shall be excluded in the computation of any applicable statute
of limitations.
(b) RESPONSE TO NOTICE
(1) IN GENERAL—Not later than 30 days after receipt of the
notice specified in subsection (a), each prospective defendant
shall send by certified mail with return receipt requested to
each prospective plaintiff a written statement acknowledging
receipt of the notice and describing any actions it has taken or
will take by not later than 60 days after the end of that 30-day
period, to remedy the problem identified by the prospective
plaintiff.
(2) INADMISSIBILITY—A written statement required by this
subsection is not admissible in evidence, under Rule 408 of the
Federal Rules of Evidence or any analogous rule of evidence
in any State, in any proceeding to prove liability for, or the
invalidity of, a claim or its amount, or otherwise as evidence of
conduct or statements made in compromise negotiations.
(3) PRESUMPTIVE TIME OF RECEIPT—For purposes of
paragraph (1), a notice under subsection (a) is presumed to be
received 7 days after it was sent.
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(c) FAILURE TO RESPOND—If a prospective defendant fails to
respond to a notice provided pursuant to subsection (a) within the
30-day period specified in subsection (b) or does not describe the
action, if any, that the prospective defendant has taken or will take
to remedy the problem identified by the prospective plaintiff within
the subsequent 60 days, the 90-day period specified in subsection
(a) shall terminate at the end of that 30-day period as to that
prospective defendant and the prospective plaintiff may thereafter
commence its action against that prospective defendant.
(d) FAILURE TO PROVIDE NOTICE—If a defendant determines
that a plaintiff has filed a year 2000 action without providing the
notice specified in subsection (a) and without awaiting the expiration
of the 90-day period specified in subsection (a), the defendant may
treat the plaintiff’s complaint as such a notice by so informing the
court and the plaintiff in its initial response to the complaint. If any
defendant elects to treat the complaint as such a notice—
(1) the court shall stay all discovery in the action involving that
defendant for the applicable time period provided in subsection
(a) or (c), as the case may be, after filing of the complaint; and
(2) the time for filing answers and all other pleadings shall be
tolled during such applicable period.
(e) EFFECT OF CONTRACTUAL WAITING PERIODS—In cases in
which a contract or a statute enacted before January 1, 1999, requires
notice of nonperformance and provides for a period of delay prior to
the initiation of suit for breach or repudiation of contract, the period
of delay provided in the contract or the statute is controlling over the
waiting period specified in subsections (a) and (d).
(f) SANCTION FOR FRIVOLOUS INVOCATION OF THE STAY
PROVISION—In any action in which a defendant acts pursuant to
subsection (d) to stay the action, and the court subsequently finds
that the defendant’s assertion that the suit is a year 2000 action
was frivolous and made for the purpose of causing unnecessary
delay, the court may award sanctions to opposing parties in
accordance with the provisions of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure or the equivalent applicable State rule.
(g) COMPUTATION OF TIME—For purposes of this section, the
rules regarding computation of time shall be governed by the
applicable Federal or State rules of civil procedure.
(h) SPECIAL RULE FOR CLASS ACTIONS—For the purpose of
applying this section to a year 2000 action that is maintained as a
class action in Federal or State court, the requirements of the
preceding subsections of this section apply only to named
plaintiffs in the class action. (USC, 2005)
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