Cat in Microwave
An elderly lady used to breed pedigree cats and exhibit them at shows. She specialised in Persian cats and their long hair always made it a difficult task to clean and groom them for showing. In order to cut down the effort involved the old lady had evolved the practice of first washing the cat, toweling it dry and then, finally, giving it a very brief warming in her conventional electric oven.
One Christmas her oven developed a fault and so her son, by way of a Christmas present, bought her a brand new microwave oven. On the day of the next cat show, not understanding the basic difference in technology between a conventional oven and a microwave oven, the old lady industriously washed her prize-winning Persian cat and then popped it into her new oven for a few seconds. There really was no miaow, nor any other noise at all from her cat, for the poor creature exploded the instant the oven was switched on.
The old lady and her son went to court and succeeded in convincing the jury that it was the fault of the manufacturer of the microwave oven. As compensation for her cat the microwave manufacturer paid the lady several million US dollars.
Many people have heard about stories like this one and they can be found through the Internet. But what is the root of the problem? Is it the legal system in the US, the poorly detailed user manual for the microwave oven or is this case even more complex and has a surprising ending?
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