As a private airplane pilot and as the proud owner of a wooden stepladder, I got a good laugh out of "Walking Under Ladders" (Insider, July). I'll gladly pay the additional cost of liability insurance on the ladder. Want to hear about real product liability costs? Call a few private aircraft manufacturers.
I understand that the bottom-of-the-line Cessna (C152) carries more product liability as a percentage of sales cost than any other item. I called the local Beechcraft dealer, and he told me that last year, Beech reserved $30 million for product liability on 600 planes.
Wooden stepladders aren't going to disappear from the market just because of liability-insurance costs. Let's hope the same can be said of the single-engine private aircraft.