Minnesota Legal Blog

Navigating Legal Liabilities in the Age of AI: Choosing Safety or Facing Consequences

by | Feb 27, 2024 | AI |

It’s not here yet, but it’s visible on the horizon. In today’s evolving tech landscape, Artificial Intelligence is transforming industries by offering innovative solutions to longstanding challenges, including safety improvements across a variety of business sectors. This evolution raises a crucial legal question: If AI can make your industry safer and you opt not to use it, could you be held liable for choosing the less safe (non-AI) option? It’s a legitimate question prompted by the nexus between plaintiff’s lawyers and the rapid advancement of large language models like Chat GPT.

The Potential of AI in Enhancing Safety

AI technologies have the potential to significantly enhance safety measures in numerous industries. In healthcare, AI can predict patient complications before they become life-threatening. In automotive manufacturing, AI systems can identify potential safety hazards that human inspectors might overlook if they haven’t had their morning coffee. In finance, AI can detect fraud with higher accuracy than traditional methods. These advancements suggest that integrating AI could be a critical step toward mitigating risks and preventing accidents or fraud.

So what if you say no. What if you decide not to use AI? As with almost every scientific advancement over the past 200 years, lawyers will be watching you, and preying upon your industry. (Not us though . . . we’re trying to protect your industry and minimize risk.)

Saying No? Legal Implications of Not Utilizing AI

The legal landscape surrounding the adoption of AI in safety measures is complex and varies by jurisdiction. But the principle of negligence provides a foundational perspective for understanding potential liabilities. Negligence occurs when an entity fails to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. In the context of AI, if an industry has access to AI technologies that could foreseeably reduce risks but chooses not to use them, this decision could be viewed as a failure to take reasonable precautions.

  1. Duty of Care: Industries have a legal obligation to prevent foreseeable harm. If AI technologies can demonstrably reduce risks, not utilizing these tools could be interpreted as a breach of duty.
  2. Standard of Care: As AI becomes more integrated into industry standards, the legal benchmark for “reasonable precautions” will evolve. If AI reduces accidents, it will (for better or worse) become the standard by which accident avoidance is judges. Industries might be expected to adopt AI solutions as part of the standard of care to mitigate risks.

Ethical and Practical Considerations

Beyond legal liabilities, there are ethical and practical considerations. Ethically, industries should adopt practices that safeguard human life and well-being. Practically, the decision to use AI will also take into account the reliability of the technology (it’s improving, but not perfect), the potential for unintended consequences, not to mention the cost of implementation.


As AI technologies continue to advance and prove their efficacy in enhancing safety across various industries, the legal implications of not using these tools become increasingly significant. While the integration of AI into safety protocols presents legal, ethical, and practical challenges, industries should weigh these factors against the potential for reducing harm. There’s no avoiding AI at this point. It’s coming to a courtroom near you. Those avoiding this reality not only risk liability; they are also missing an opportunity to embrace an innovation that could save lives and prevent injuries.

As courts and legislatures grapple with these issues, industries should proactively consider how AI can provide an edge for their safety protocols, not just to avoid legal consequences but to meet a broader duty to protect the well-being of those affected by their products.