Y2K Doomsday Aftermath - The Legal System Meltdown Narrowly Avertedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
I am kidding of course. Actually, this is the final curtain call for Y2K Doomsday. The aftermath is in, the benefits of the Y2K protection legislation has been reviewed, and it was a bust. There were no heroes in y2k, just some decent work by the everyday programmers and engineers and technicians, some of whom had a hand in getting us to this point in the first place, along with their managers and CEOs. The shrill whislte types pushing for protectionist legislation such a as Dale Way and his IEEE TAB Y2K group were certainly no heroes, just some guys wearing tin hats blowing shrill whistles. There was the amusement factor though, as the following story reminds us....
Law shielding companies from Y2K suits invoked in only 18 cases
By D. IAN HOPPER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (September 24, 2000 4:42 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - Worried that a flood of Y2K lawsuits would threaten the economy, Congress last year passed legislation to limit lawsuits related to the computer problem and save American businesses billions of dollars in legal costs.
Government investigators now report that companies invoked it in court just 18 times, which a congressional critic saw as a "fitting postscript" to Y2K alarms that never materialized.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who voted against the legislation last year and commissioned the General Accounting Office report, said the study "confirms that in the courts, the Y2K bill was mostly used by big companies to delay or sidetrack relief to consumers."
He added, "This is a lesson for the next time special interests ask Congress for special legal protections."
A colleague who worked to pass the measure countered that it helped businesses concentrate on solving the Y2K problem.
"The Y2K Act encouraged businesses to be proactive in addressing and remedying their Y2K challenges, rather than defensive and fearful of a predicted flood of lawsuits," Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said.
"The success with which our nation's businesses met the Y2K issue was in significant part facilitated by this legislation."
The report by the investigative arm of Congress showed that defendants used the Y2K Act 12 times in federal court and 6 times in state courts. The suits involved class actions by customers, disputes between businesses and disputes against insurers. Compilers said they had no way to tell how many times the law was invoked to keep cases out of court.
In many cases, defendants invoking the Y2K Act eventually settled the cases or had them dismissed. Ten cases were pending when the report was finished last month.
The law allowed defendants to move some state cases to federal court, challenge class action lawsuits and force plaintiffs to use mediation.
The Y2K problem occurred because of the fear that some computer programs, especially older ones, might fail when the date changed to 2000. Because the programs were written to recognize only the last two digits of a year to save space, such programs could have read the digits "00" as 1900 instead of 2000.
The United States spent about $100 billion to fix the problem. The problems after the rollover were sporadic and very few, but some computers left unrepaired did fail.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate. President Clinton repeatedly threatened to veto early versions, which he said went too far in restricting Americans' rights to sue for full compensation for wrongs.
Senate Democrats negotiated with the White House to give the bill added protections for consumers.
"I hope that we find that the Y2K Act succeeds in helping to screen out frivolous claims without blocking or unduly burdening legitimate suits," Clinton said in a statement when he signed the bill in July 1999.
"We will be watching to see whether the bill's provisions are misused by parties who did little or nothing to remediate in order to defeat claims brought by those harmed by irresponsible conduct."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chief Senate sponsor, argued during negotiations with the White House that an avalanche of lawsuits could have a "crippling effect on our economy." Some experts estimated $1 trillion in civil actions.
Among examples cited in the as-yet-unreleased GAO report, which was obtained by The Associated Press:
A suit against electronics retailers such as Circuit City and CompUSA accused the companies of selling computer hardware and software that they knew were not Y2K-compliant. The defendants used the Y2K law's higher standards for notice and jurisdiction to have the case dismissed. A plaintiff alleged a manufacturer called its Y2K overhaul an "upgrade," refused to honor standard maintenance agreements and charged at least 400 clients $6,000 each. The defendants invoked the Y2K law's forced mediation clause, but the parties had not settled as of March. A California plaintiff sued computer maker Packard Bell NEC for selling personal computers susceptible to the Year 2000 bug. The suit said the company refused to repair the malfunctioning date, which required a user to enter the correct date when the computer was turned on. A judge dismissed the case under the Y2K law and the plaintiff appealed, but the case was settled out of court.
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), September 24, 2000
For historical reference and further amusment: IEEE Y2K Chair: The Fat Lady Has Yet To Sing
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), September 24, 2000.
So why did Congress pass Y2K liability protection legislation? Were they 'doomers' or did they just not know how Y2K was going to turn out?
-- (email@example.com), September 24, 2000.
time is slip slip slipping away.....................
-- Better Buy 2 Weeks (firstname.lastname@example.org!), September 24, 2000.
So why did Congress pass Y2K liability protection legislation? Were they 'doomers' or did they just not know how Y2K was going to turn out? WHY? ..............BECAUSE THEY WERE "CONGRESS".
The law was passed to allow companies time to fix "unexpected" Y2k problems. If they did not, they were liable if anything happened.
Some lawyers took a blood bath "prepping" for Y2k Litigation. Many had shelled out $3 to 5,000 for seminars on the "issues". Those seminars had a truly bad side effect. In the name of due dilligence and assorted other things circa: "client protection", many lawyers shut down ANY DISCLOSURES vis a vis y2k.
That worked out well for their clients but inadvertantly fueled the fires for the Doom Sayers like Yourdon who claimed he could not find evidence that "companies had done enough to fix Y2k problems and "INSERT PROGRAM YOURDON" ......"I'm a 35 years experts in systems, project don't come in on time, based on what I know, TEOTW, blah, blah, "END PROGRAM YOURDON".
GREAT EXCUSE except for one detail, most I.T. PROFESSIONALS knew that most of their peers and vendors had "taken care of the worst problems". For Your-Toast-ED&Fried **NOT** to have known sort of leaves him OUT of those circles he claimed to have such great expertise in.
Of course to the TB I Doomzies, it didn't matter. The god-head had spoken with "I know what I know" only a week before ,,,,even though events ROVED HE DIDN"T KNOW SQUAT.
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 24, 2000.
For a source that lists 86 Y2K related law suits:
-- Paula Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2000.
THIS IS **very** TIRESOME. AGAIN INSTEAD OF GIVING THE **SOURCE** GORDON, WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN "ACADEMIC" (and should know better) GIVES A LINK TO GICC, ITSELF NOTHING BUT A COLLECTION OF CUT AND PASTE FROM NON-ACADEMIC PUBLIC MEDIA AND PRESS RE-WRITES OF OBSCURE "BAAAAD" AND "VERY BAAAAAD" STORIES...........(aka: NOISE......SIGNIFYING NOTHING)
WHY IS "THE PAULA" TRYING TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO THE DEMENTIA OF GICC? SHE POSTED A "LINK" TO ANOTHER SOURCE ON GICC. IS SHE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH "NON-BELIEVERS" IN THE REAL WORLD ??
THIS IS HARDLY THE FIRST TIME "THE PAULA" DIRECTS PEOPLE TO THE BOTTOM LAND SWAMP OF GICC.
OR IS GICC SUPPOSED TO BE A "VALID" SOURCE FOR HER COLLECTION OF ***BULL SHIT** KNOWN AS THE "PAULA GORDON ALL PURPOSE WHITE PAPER ON Y2K" WHICH IS PROBABLY THE ONLY THING IN HER "C.V." ?
THE FOLLOWING IS THE **REAL SOURCE***?
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 25, 2000.
http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003r9FFUNNY. Many of these were pre-1/1/2000. Was that part of the "information cover up" also??
-- cpr (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2000
AnswersAnti MSFT over Foxpro : dismissed: March, 1999
VS: MACOLA (accounting software) DISMISSED Dec...........1998.
INTUIT (Quicken, Quick Books): DISMISSED: DEC. 1998
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 25, 2000.
"SUE AND LABOR" ANALYZED:
-- cpr (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2000.
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 25, 2000.
When the original fear was that millions of cases would overwhelm the legal system, there isn't much difference between zero, 18, or 86 cases. Essentially, the legal problems didn't happen.
It wasn't that long ago (a few months?) that someone here (Hawk? eve?) was still citing Gartner's trillion dollar estimate, the bulk of which was composed of estimated legal costs. Meanwhile, the *actual* cost is cited by this article as $100 billion, less than half of the lower limit for direct remediation.
Elsewhere, we learn that much of that $100 billion was spent overseas by multinational US companies, as well as on software and hardware upgrades that would have been required soon anyway, but were justified as y2k expenses to pacify the bean counters.
In retrospect, it becomes ever clearer that no solid factual foundation underlay *any* dire speculations. The date problems were real, but they were never the tip of the iceberg. There was no iceberg. Sic transit gloria y2k.
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2000.
Good observation there Flint, I hadn't even noticed the $100 billion figure, much lower than the 200 billion figure that was used frequently for the US y2k cost.
I think that you are right on that much of the money was spent in upgrading software and systems, this was indeed the case on the y2k nuke project I worked on. Y2k was the "ticket" to the money many had been looking for to improve antiquated software and systems. So there will at least be some benefits...now if we had just left out the hype and the pamphlets and the paperwork and the nonsense, we coulda saved about $25 billon and arrived at the same place...
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), September 25, 2000.
What was said about the liability legislation when it passed.
President signs Y2K Act into law
7/20/1999 02:05 PM
More than six months since it was introduced in the Senate, legislation that will limit lawsuits sparked by the Year 2000 technology bug is signed into law today by the President, the White House said.
The President's signature on the Y2K Act today ends a lengthy stalemate over how to limit a potential flood of litigation arising from Year 2000 problems, which by some estimates could cost $1 trillion and cripple the economy.
Republicans pressed by high tech and business interests have supported the bill, but Democrats, backed by trial lawyers and consumer protection groups, have argued that the measure is too lenient on businesses.
Using digital signature technology, congressional leaders electronically signed the measure last week and sent it to the White House by email--marking the first time legislation has been signed over to the President without the use of paper or ink.
After the bill was sent to the White House, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D- Connecticut) said the country must remain diligent in protecting the economic growth enjoyed in part from the progress in the tech sector.
"The Y2K Act means resources can be dedicated toward fixing Y2K problems and fostering innovation, not diverted towards fighting frivolous lawsuits," he said.
The bill isthe second measure related to the Year 2000 glitch signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The first was the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act, which provides limited liability protections to encourage companies to share information about products, methods, and best practices, legal experts debated whether it protected consumer rights.
At that time, some members of Congress argued that bill didn't provide enough litigation protection, giving birth to the debate over the newest measure, the Y2K Act.
The Y2K Act was first introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) in January. McCain is the chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and is considering a presidential run in 2000.
As reported earlier, the Y2K Act aims to put a check on lawsuits by providing disputing parties with a 90-day "cooling-off" period to mitigate their grievances out of court. The measure would also set some caps on punitive damages for small businesses and protect government entities including municipalities, school, fire, water, and sanitation districts from punitive damages. The bill further aims to protect those not directly involved in a Year 2000 bug failure.
The measure aims to make it harder to file year 2000-related class- action lawsuits by increasing the monetary threshold for class-action lawsuits from $1 million to $10 million before a case can be moved to federal court.
The legislation also adds some consumer protection language that says in most cases a defendant is liable only for that proportion of the damage he or she may cause. The measure ensures, for example, that consumers can get full benefits in cases of bad faith.
The Year 2000 problem, also known as the millennium bug, stems from an old programming shortcut that used only the last two digits of the year. Many computers now must be modified, or they may mistake the year 2000 for the year 1900 and may not be able to function at all.
Copyright 1999 CNet.com. All rights reserved.
-- (email@example.com), September 26, 2000.
$200.000,000,000 projected... $100,000,000,000 spent, all for good reasons of course..... it was needed for upgrades.... LMAO !!!!!!!!...
FF, Flint, do you see the joke in this?... do you see the benifits?... Do you see why the Doom zombies were right?... Creeper, are you reading this?...Can you see where Y2k, and all of the" hype" was a good thing for the world?... Naaaaaa... probably not !!!!!!
To the IT pros here... can you see it....?
-- Mr. Slippery (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 2000.
"Can you see where Y2k, and all of the 'hype' was a good thing for the world?..." -- Mr. Slippery
No. Can you? Somehow, I doubt it. Moron.
-- King of Spain (email@example.com), September 29, 2000.
Wipe the mud out of you eyes and look at this... Y2k caused thousends of companies to spend gobs of bucks going thru their legacy systems, upgrading software and hardware, and maybe fixing bugs that could have hurt their biz.. would they have done this if there were no hype?... do you think just possibly, their systems might be running smother now after the bucks spent?... I won't comment on your personal attack... you're totally outclassed by creeper..... :-)
-- Mr. Slippery (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2000.