In advance of the 10:23 mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies on Saturday 30 January 2010, I thought it time to publish this leaked internal memorandum...
Alliance Boots plc
To: Board of Directors
From: Legal & Regulatory
You have asked for a memorandum setting out potential liability for Alliance Boots (“AllBoo”) in respect of the threatened homeopathic overdose by the 10:23 campaign on 30 January 2010.
In particular, you wish to know the liability which AllBoo and its directors may have if the overdose injures or kills any of the campaigners if the products used are provided by AllBoo.
The starting point is that AllBoo would indeed face a range of civil and criminal liabilities if we did provide something capable of injuring or killing the campaigners in this way, especially as we are aware of the threatened overdose by reason of the spirited press campaign by the campaigners.
There are an estimated 300 campaigners who have announced that they are going to take an overdose of an AllBoo product. That would usually expose AllBoo to a potential liability of at least £60,000,000 - possibly more if they have any lawyers amongst them.
In normal circumstances we would thereby review the product and possibly take it off the shelves in the week leading up to the date of the overdose. We would also advise our insurers of the prospect of such a substantial claim. We would even engage experienced criminal defence solicitors to advise us on any potential charges because our branches knowingly sold the products in the vicinity of where the demonstrations are taking place.
Indeed, AllBoo would normally put into place a complete civil and criminal defence strategy to minimise or eliminate the risk of prosecution or civil suit.
As AllBoo know this overdose is to take place, it would simply be our duty of care to act to prevent the supply of these products in these circumstances.
However, there is no need for AllBoo to do anything at all in this case.
We may sit back and just benefit from this welcome boost in consumer demand.
We can just rest easy.
For I am delighted to advise the board that, as the products in question actually contain no active ingredient, the planned “overdose” will be nothing of the kind. Other than perhaps the effects of a sugar rush (we use sugar pills else we may suffer customer hostility to selling what is really just water), the protesters will not suffer any ill-effects at all.
Because there is no active ingredient then - as a matter of law - we are completely safe.
In support of this conclusion, we can even refer in court to both medical science and the laws of physics.
Should we be prosecuted or sued for knowingly – or even recklessly – providing a product which was to be used in such a mass attempt at an overdose, we can safely point the court to undisputed, overwhelming scientific evidence that we sold nothing which could have caused any adverse reaction - indeed any reaction at all.
In conclusion, the board of directors can be happily assured that in respect of the risk of death or injury for an homeopathy overdose by our customers, the science is firmly on our side.
So no reason to worry on this one: there is nothing in it.
Click here to find out more about the 10:23 Campaign.
Homeopathy: There's Nothing In It.
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