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Preventing Litigation by William Inmon, Nelson Brestoff

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Chapter 16

Finding the Signal

Now, for the product liability use case, let’s set the stage. When the computer era was in its early days, memos were paper documents. They were stored in file folders, which were in turn stored in filing cabinets. And back then, they were sometimes hard to find.

One famous example is the Ford Pinto Memo. The Pinto entered the marketplace in 1971. Two years later, two Ford engineers submitted a response to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, to which a memo was attached. The memo was entitled, Fatalities Associated with Crash Induced Fuel Leakage and Fires.1 It was Ford’s cost-benefit calculation that the value of a human life was less than an $11 part.2

The memo ...

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