I've seen on several forums (and/or members thereof) around trades where they say they don't give advice to non-pros because they're afraid the amateur will do it wrong and they'll be found liable.

I've tried googling this question to see if it's ever happened but it seems most of the answers are around libel laws.

To expand on the question, has there been any cases where a professional has been sued/tried and been found liable/guilty for having given advice that wasn't correctly followed leading to an incident? If so, have any of those resulted in a finding of guilt or liability? What were the specifics of the case?

I'm primarily interested in the US but stories from other countries would also be interesting.

Example: https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?186644-gt-gt-READ-THIS-FIRST-lt-lt-NO-DIY-Why-NOT

While we (the membership of this site) are happy to chat with you about any topic there are just too many factors we must consider before giving advice. Safety and legality are the first things prevalent. The site Moderators are charged with removing DIY which shows reasonable care on our part to keep you safe so you or your next of kin don’t send your lawyer to knock on our door. Yes, we show reasonable care to disallow DIY so save your Lawyers time and effort.

emphasis mine

  • 5
    If you can link to a claim that there has been (or hasn't, either could be fine). If not then this may end-up being closed as off-topic due to lack of a notable claim. Interesting question anyhow. May 26, 2020 at 15:24
  • I might be wrong, but I think it could be hard to prove the negative that no such lawsuits exist. It seems likely though that a professional could be sued for allegedly giving poor advice regardless of the media used to communicate that advice. I.e. They might just as easily have a basis for a lawsuit if that advice was given over the phone rather than the internet, or even given in person.
    – PC Luddite
    May 28, 2020 at 5:11
  • 3
    The thing is, you can be sued for anything. Getting sued means someone thinks you caused them damage you are liable for. Whether or not that's true is for a court to find out. Even getting a lawyer to write their letter is no reason to believe their claim has merit. After all, a lawyer is someone who gets paid to argue that one person is right and the other is wrong. So the real question is if someone who sues for that would have a chance to win a lawsuit.
    – Philipp
    May 28, 2020 at 8:37
  • @Philipp yes you're right but in the title question I do specify that I mean found liable/guilty not just had suit filed against them. I'll edit the question May 29, 2020 at 14:41


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