Legal fig leaves

I noticed the other day the following at the bottom of all the pages on A.L. Enterprise’s website:

Disclaimer: All of our products are sold as novelty items only.
A. L. Enterprises, Inc. does not accept responsibility for any misuse or possible injury resulting in their use.

And then, yesterday, looking at the ExoBelt V1, I found this in the footer:

For obvious legal reasons we cannot recommend any ExoBelt product for use on the body or in any capacity as a medical device. It must be understood that some acts discussed or depicted on the ExoBelt website on in email correspondence may be medically unsafe or harmful and that the description and discussion of and such act(s) is intended as purely anecdotal or “fantasy” material. You choose to engage in any such act(s), discussed or depicted, entirely at your own risk.

I am not a lawyer, and it’s been well over a year since I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, but these disclaimers seem to be absurd attempts to shield them from possible legal action from someone injured by their products. I’m not even sure what ExoBelt is trying to say. So using their product as they demonstrate with pictures may be unsafe so pretend we’re all talking about fantasy here and somehow it’ll all work out all right?

I’d much rather see these companies list out the possible side-effects of using their products along with how those side-effects can be avoided or corrected. Also (and I’m only familiar with the CB-6000 version of this), thorough usage guidelines included with the product would be very helpful.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t try to protect themselves against frivolous lawsuits, but it seems to me that pretending as though people aren’t using these things for exactly what they were designed to do is duplicitous in the extreme and shows a remarkable lack of respect or concern for their customers. For example, requiring purchasers to agree to a terms of use outlining risks and limiting the companies’ liability would be far preferable to saying after the fact that whatever happens to you is your own problem.

Instead of hiding behind stupid legal fig leaves, these companies should be investing in educational materials and usage guidelines. To do otherwise is remarkably irresponsible.

8 Replies to “Legal fig leaves”

  1. The problem with trying to edumacate the public is that there’s no way you can account for all of the possibilities.

    I’m imagining a situation in which a guy is wearing a device and has an accident. Say, a motorcycle accident, for example, in which he sustains severe bodily damage, perhaps loses a testicle or two.

    He then tries to sue AL, claiming that he has no idea that the plastic device would rip his testicles off. If their educational materials didn’t cover that, or didn’t cover, for example, not spilling hot coffee into the device, or not wearing it for 30 days straight, or any other of a bazillion different crazy things that somebody could do, then some shark is going to say “Well, AL should pay for pain and suffering because they didn’t anticipate our client trying to suspend himself from the ceiling by the cuff ring.”

  2. True, but their current strategy of pretending like nobody actually wears these things isn’t going to help them any if that motorcycle dude wipes out and loses his nuts. To me, it seems as though they’re trying to seek protection from people who are harmed from using their products in the way in which they were really intended, silly “fantasy” copy aside. I’ve seen enough guys on forums and Fetlife to know that a healthy percentage of people don’t know how to use these things (and I’m certainly not saying I’m an expert or anything).

    If they just admitted that real people wear them for extended periods and put out some guidelines around the proper way to fit them and what do to if something unexpected happens, then I’d be fine with a sweeping denial of culpability for those people who don’t know when they’re being stupid (or even a general denial of any kind of liability). It seems to me they’re looking for an easy, cheap way out of their responsibility to help people properly use their products as they were designed, not when they’re being abused.

    And again, I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve had enough dealings with similar issues to know that the copy they have in place now will do nothing to protect them from someone with testicle damage from wearing the 1.5″ ring around his 2″ cock all night. A wink and a nod does not a product liability defense make.

    I don’t know why this has put such a bug up my ass. Maybe it’s because there’s a high signal to noise ratio of info on the web and the proper place for definitive knowledge (the manufacturer) is being ignored. I agree they can’t possibly provide for all infinite number of permutations that could arise. I just wish they’d try a tiny bit for the vast number of guys who only want to wear them normally.

  3. And that’s the problem: AL gets to identify “normal” usage as men who use it as a novelty or toy – which is pretty much how they sell dildos in Texas. “We’re sorry, we didn’t realize that that kinky, perverted people use these things seriously. They’re just plastic fun toys.”

    Frankly, if Frank and Doris spend any time reading the same groups that you and I read, they’d be stunned at the people who don’t have a freakin’ clue about hygiene, health, or how their bodies work.

    But by all means, feel free to contact them and ask if you can help them to write a pamphlet. There are a dozen good FAQs around the net; if you mashed them into one large unit, you might have something that covers most of the important stuff. Unfortunately, you’d also not include some of the really stoopid things that you just know somebody is going to do. I mean, somebody is selling a kit to electrify the inside of the cage, for cry-eye.

    Caution: Do not superglue your penis to the inside of the tube. Be careful when motorcycle or horseback riding. Avoid temperature extremes. If appendages turn blue or swell with fluid, remove device and seek medical attention. Etc. , Etc.

    1. I get that, but the two disclaimers (and especially Exobelt’s) seem to be more about trying to protect them from injury lawsuits, not smut laws. If they both just said they were novelties and left it at that, I don’t think it’d bother me.

      That being said, a little disclaimer at the bottom of a webpage won’t protect you in either case. A fired up prosecutor trying to make a name for himself will go after them just the same and product liability law is such that even when a consumer has specifically agreed to waive liability rights, the manufacturer can be sued if the product is inherently unsafe. IMO, they’re setting themselves up for more trouble by *not* saying how it should be used properly than by pretending they’re just bachelorette party gag gifts.

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