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Tombstone mentality is an informal aviationair safety term that suggests design defects are sometimes ignored until people have died because of them.
Strictly speaking, tombstone mentality decisions are examples where there is no incentive for an economic actor to be a 'first mover' and promote safety. Sometimes this is a result of market pressures (nobody wants to pay for extra safety, despite their talk), or, it may be a result of legal disincentives such as product liabilitylawsuits (if a design change is made that is not government approved and somebody is injured, even if the design change was not the reason for the injury, the company may be liable).