On Poetry and Culture Shock

Acts of God?

Ah, the ambiguities of American law. I bought a portable CD and the warranty said: “This warranty does not cover … damage due to acts of God, accident, misuse, negligence, commercial use, or modification of…”

Since warranties are interpreted to mean fabrication defects and nothing else, and the are no mentions of terrorist attacks or natural disasters on the warranty, I take it that “acts of God” refers to that. What a quaint expression to find in a legal context!! In Law School we talked of caso fortuito (what cannot be foreseen) and fuerza mayor(what cannot be prevented), which are very dry, but certainly more descriptive and accurate. I wonder if in American law schools it is taught that “Acts of God” is just a metaphor for natural disasters, or whether someone could argue in court the literal interpretation that there is no God, and therefore whatever happened to the machine should be covered by the warranty.

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