Lawsuits When Computers Err

Errors in computer information and systems have the potential of bringing harm to people both physically and economically. People and property can be injured because important computer systems, such as those used by banks, hospitals, and utility companies, might be damaged by inaccurate information.

Different Types of Error
Computer information may be corrupted by either human error or computer error.
Human error involves:

Faulty data entry
Inadequate programming
Tampering (viruses, worms, disabling mechanisms)
Computer error involves:

Improper design
Defective equipment
Insufficient data checking systems
Computer Use Negligence
In order to prove negligence pertaining to the use of computers, it must be shown that:

A duty existed to protect users from harm
There was a breach of that duty
Damages resulted because of the breach
Computer Nonuse Negligence
Sometimes negligence may be found when a computer is not used. For instance, if it was vital for an air traffic controller to use specific computer equipment that his superior denied him the use of, any parties who were damaged might claim that the superior was negligent.

To prove that there was negligence that caused damage because of nonuse of a computer, it should be shown that:

A computer was available
A computer was offered at a reasonable cost
Failure to use the computer caused damages