Imagine the following scenario. It's December 31, 1999 and two minutes until midnight. The champagne has just been poured and everyone is joyfully preparing to welcome in the new millennium. The clock ticks and the countdown begins. While millions of New Yorkers push and shove, millions more gather around television sets to catch a glimpse of the famous "ball" as it begins its descent in Times Square. Five . . . Four . . . Three . . . Two . . . One . . . "Happy New Year!!!" Little does the crowd know, that as they disperse and seek their freedom, so are thousands of angry prisoners. An embedded computer chip exists in the cell doors of a maximum security prison. As we enter the Year 2000, the embedded chip does not. It has just become the first victim of the Year 2000, better known as the "Y2K" problem. The now-escaped convicts go on a riot where many people are injured and killed. As a result, the manufacturer of the locking mechanism is sued under the theory that its product had a defect that caused physical damage to both persons and property.
Philip J. Landau,
Products Liability in the New Millennium: Products Liability and the Y2K Crisis,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol6/iss2/9