An ethical question

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jsw123, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. jsw123 macrumors member


    Mar 19, 2006
    A man has misplaced his 1.5 12" PB. He is looking for it. Another man sees his laptop on a low shelf. The non owner picks it up with one hand. It hits the bottom of the next shelf up and crashes down to the ground. There is no interior damage, but the pb is now wobbly and takes an extra effort to open. Is the man who dropped it responsible to pay for the pb?
  2. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603


    Aug 20, 2005
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    Yes...offer to get it repaired or at least offer to help.....but how could someone misplace a laptop in a place which is not there home(was he at home)

    Free up man...

  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Depends on your idea of ethics I guess!

    I think the right thing to do would be to own up and help pay (I'm not sure it justifies an entirely new PB if it's not actually broken!) but I suspect most (since it would be easy to deny all knowledge unless the owner saw you) would just say 'tough'
  5. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    It's arkward but the non-owner, whilst being helpful, not only based it but then compounded the error by dropping it. Some reparation should probably be made.
  6. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    If the owner asks for help, then no. If he didn't ask for help finding the laptop, then it's a grey area. Good samaritan laws come into mind here where while trying to help, certain immunity is given if you cause more harm.

  7. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN

    Law /= Ethics

    That being said, I think that the person who screwed it up should at least offer to help pay for part of any repair that is necessary, but the person whose computer it is shouldn't forget that they may still have no computer at all were it not for the clown that found and then dropped it.
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    Ethically the man should have some responsibility. Reasonable, splitting the cost of repairs would suffice for me because the chain of events that lead to the destruction was contributed by both parties assuming you left the PB there in the first place.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think it depends on where the laptop was stored...if the shelf in question "belongs" to the owner of the laptop, then the second individual had no business picking the laptop out of it. If it was left in a common use area, then I think that the owner carries more of the risk that it will be abused while there....

    In an example relevant to me.... I usually use my iBook in my shared office space, occupying a (small) table segment that has no computer on it. This works out for everyone, since I'm the only one who brings his own computer in, and everyone else uses the lab computers while there. So I get the space essentially to myself, but, in trade I don't tax the resources everyone else needs. So the space is essentially mine. I also sometimes take my iBook to the Clinic and leave it sitting at the back of a table against the wall, more or less out of the way. I'd feel more personal responsibility, though, if something happened to it in the Clinic, because it's shared workspace and people are going in and out and using all of it all the time, and I don't have any real claim to any of the space there. Does that make sense?

    Don't get me wrong...I'd cry about my iBook either way. :(
  10. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Of course, should the bookcase have been about to plummet off a 300ft cliff, Will E Coyote style, then the guy who saved the Powerbook, however dented, should be a hero
  11. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I blame the bookshelf. Burn it for its transgressions.
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    All I know is that I finally know who dropped my PowerBook when I temporarily set it on that low shelf.
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
  14. Peyton macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    Hm, I'd say, if it was yours would you want an offer to fix it?

    The golden rule seems to be good idea here.

    And after that 'april desktop' thread I started, maybe we could use some golden rule following on MR :D :cool:
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Well, not under normal circumstances, but:
    Now, when someone is looking for something, and I see it, and it's within my reach, I generally pick it up (unless it's something heavy, like a car or an elephant) and hand it to the owner, especially if it's in a spot most people wouldn't look (like a low bookshelf).

    That said, an offer to help should be made, but I think the owner should absorb some of it for losing track of such an expensive item.
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Without considering the law or anything, if it was my 12" PB and this other person was trying to help me find it (whether or not I asked him to help isn't part of the issue), and he finds it but hits the bottom of the next shelf above and then accidentally drops it a very short height, I wouldn't charge him or expect him to pay. Scratched or not, he was just trying to help, after all.

    If I misunderstood the original post and this guy wasn't trying to help you at all, and just picked it up when you weren't there because he saw it and was curious, then yeah, I think he's responsible, but I wouldn't really charge him to get the scratches repaired. Getting something like a PB fixed would probably cost way too much to be justified.
  17. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
  18. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    Hopefully the owner has Apple Care and complains to the Apple Customer Reps till they get it fixed. ;) :D

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