So much has been said about Hillsborough that I will refrain from adding to the many comments already made. I will just point to one lesson we can all learn.
When things go wrong, what do you do?
What happened on that day was terrible. At the time it was hard to imagine any way in which it could have been worse. So I thought. I was wrong. The reaction of the Police and others in authority added insult to injury. Literally. The cover-up was worse than the event in that it kept the suffering going longer, much longer, than necessary. The failings on the day and in the lead-up to it were bad but were accidental. The cover-up was deliberate.
I have deal with many liability claims resulting from alleged negligence. In some cases the problems were exacerbated by the reactions of those responsible. In some cases, even where my clients were not negligent in causing the accident, they made things worse for themselves and others by the way they reacted to the claim or complaint.
- Denying facts which were incontrovertible.
- Blaming the victim unreasonably.
- Refusing to disclose documents which were discoverable.
- Sometimes it was just the tone of their response, whether in writing or verbal, that poured petrol onto the fire.
It couldn’t happen in your business, could it? If in any doubt, have a word with someone with experience in Public Relations or Customer Care. Perhaps with a mere claims-handler or Risk Management advisor.
Your reputation could be worth more than the cost of their fees or even the cost of the claim. Think about it!