Premium Essay

Critical Thinking in the Legal Environment: Torts and Product Liability

In: Computers and Technology

Words 3185
Pages 13
Critical Thinking in the Legal Environment: Torts and Product Liability
Fall 2009


This assignment focuses on management skills that would be utilized in critical thinking in the legal environment specifically related to torts and product liability. A manager is constantly challenged with balancing responsibilities to the shareholders to make a profitable business and protecting the best interests of the employees and customers or end users of their products/services. This is especially challenging in large geographically diverse organizations, such as a McDonalds or car dealerships, where having statistical descriptive data, clear understanding of the policies, up and down the organization, and ensuring no significant information is being omitted is critical to running the company and avoiding lawsuits.
A manager must be able to effectively analyze and evaluate data to make informed, intelligent decisions in many different situations. They need to be able to evaluate the reasons, without biases, in order to make sound decisions for the organization, as well as their employees and customers.
There are lessons learned from the cases reviewed this week for managers related to critical thinking based on the two cases that are the focus of this paper, Liebeck v. McDonald’s and Pearson v. Custom Cleaners. .

Liebeck vs. McDonalds As a very controversial tort case, Liebeck vs. McDonalds was a closely followed by the news and legal community. This case has been used as an example demonstrating a need for tort reform in the legal system. It started out seeming a simple frivolous lawsuit that was going to waste the court’s and jury’s time. It seemed clear that Liebeck was negligent in not exercising caution in handling her coffee but in the end, it was “found that MdDonald’s was 80% responsible for the incident, while Liebeck was 20% at…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Critical Thinking

...subtle and common errors: ISBN 1-256-46689-1 • • • • Either/or thinking Avoiding the issue Overgeneralizing Oversimplifying 209 The Art of Thinking: A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought, Tenth Edition, by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. Published by Pearson. Copyright © 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc. 210 Chapter 12 Evaluate Your Argument on the Issue • Double standard • Shifting the burden of proof • Irrational appeal Either/Or Thinking This error consists of believing that only two choices are possible in situations in which there are actually more than two choices. A common example of either/or thinking occurs in the creationism-versus-evolution debate. Both sides are often guilty of the error. “The biblical story of creation and scientific evolution cannot both be right,” they say. “It must be either one or the other.” They are mistaken. There is a third possibility: that there is a God who created everything but did so through evolution. Whether this position is the best one may, of course, be disputed. But it is an error to ignore its existence. Either/or thinking undoubtedly occurs because, in controversy, the spotlight is usually on the most obvious positions, those most clearly in conflict. Any other position, especially a subtle one, is ignored. Such thinking is best overcome by conscientiously searching out all possible views before choosing one. If you find either/or thinking in your position on an issue, ask yourself, “Why must it be one......

Words: 7555 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay

Product Liability Management

...Product Liability Management Victor Adejayan Dr. Dianne Barrs Strayer University LEG 500 September, 2012 Product liability is the responsibility of a manufacturer for injury or loss caused by its product ( Product liability serves to protect the public but it is may turn out to be very expensive to organizations. Management has the duty of making sure that organizations’ resources, especially funds and reputation, do not suffer unnecessary attrition and damages through the implementation of effective, affordable product liability programs. It is important to have people in management that possess the skills such needed to solve liability issues in the legal arena, most importantly before they occur.The challenge of the manager is fulfilling his/hers responsibilities by generating profit in business while protecting the interests of otherstakeholders, such as, employees and customers. Though the savvy manager cannot stop people from having the intention and grievances to sue the organization, they can reduce the motive of prospective plaintiffs and in event of a lawsuit happens; effective product liability management mitigates the negative effects on the organization. Management has the duty of making sure the product liability policies and programs of the organization is clear, concise and precise so that the interpretation thereof cannot be turned to work against the organization. Most lawsuits that are directed at organizations......

Words: 1890 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Products Liability

...Running Head: Products Liability Assignment 4: Products Liability Name Law and Ethics in the Business Environment Professor February 17, 2013 Products Liability Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson started out making surgical dressing for hospitals and then that progressed into what Johnson & Johnson is best known for is the Band-Aid brand band aid. They added tape to the dressing and the product was convenient for hospitals as well as mending cuts and scrapes that people get, targeting kids because they are accident prone. In later years Johnson & Johnson explored other opportunities mainly in the over-the-counter medicinal products. Over the years they have been subject to many lawsuits but the one this paper will focus on is the product liability lawsuit on the DePuy ASR hip implant. DePuy is a company that specializes in orthopedic products and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1998. The metal on metal hip replacement DePuy ASR was approved by the FDA for use by surgeons on patients that were in need of a hip replacement in 2005. (Meier, 2010). The DePuy ASR hip replacement should have a life of at least 10 years. The device was being used on patients, soon after the DePuy dividion of Johnson & Johnson started receiving complaints of the device with the largest spike of complaints in 2009. (Meier, 2010). Many of the complaints resulted in the patient having to receive another hip replacement only a few......

Words: 1869 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Product Liability and Legal Ramifications

...Product Liability and Legal Ramifications Christopher M. Branch MBA 5861 New Product Marketing 08/13/2013 Christopher Branch MBA 5861 Term 1A Dr. David Castle 08/13/2013 Product Liability and Legal Ramifications The next time you walk into a retail store like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Office Depot, Babies R’ Us/Toy R’ Us, you will see a board, typically in plain sight of the viewing public, with sheets of papers titled “Product Recall” or Safety Recall or something of the like. Recalled items run the gamut of consumers good and are generally recalled because of a safety or health concerns. The Food and Drug Administration regularly issues recalls or public safety notices for Medical Products, Pharmaceuticals, Tobacco, and contaminated food items. Product Liability is the responsibility of manufacturers, distributors and sellers, they are expected to act in the best interest of the public; to deliver a product free of defects which can harm an individual or persons; and to make good on that responsibility if their products are defective. These can include faulty auto brakes, contaminated baby food, exploding bottles of beer, flammable children's pajamas, or lack of label warnings. The key element in products liability law is that a person who suffers harm from a product need not prove negligence, since the negligence is "presumed" and the result is "strict liability" (absolute responsibility) on the seller, distributor and manufacturer. An injured......

Words: 3293 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Products Liability

...Products Liability Research Paper Tonya Bailey Strayer University LEG 500---Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance Professor Lynn Macbeth June 2, 2012 Products Liability Introduction As consumers, we purchase products that we feel are beneficial to us in some way or another. The products that we decide and choose to purchase are solely up to the individual. If there is a problem or accident that may occur a result with use of that product, then the consumer is liable. But producers and manufacturers are not exempt being that it is there product, and this is where legal liability issues occur. “Product liability refers to the responsibility of manufacturers for injuries and damages caused by their products” (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011, pg. 52). In this paper, I will examine the Toyota Motor Company and how this company has been the subject of a product liability lawsuit. First, I describe the company and the product safety issue that led to the lawsuit. Next, I will discuss the legal theories used by the plaintiff to recover in this lawsuit, how the lawsuit was resolved, and why I agree with the decision in the case. Then, it will be relevant to mention the changes that have taken place in the company to ensure greater safety of this product or its products, including specific policies that the company has put in place to protect consumers and end users who purchase and use its product. Afterwards, I will discuss the regulatory agency that oversees the......

Words: 773 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Product Recall and Associated Liability

...Product Recall and Associated Liability Professor Muse Business | 670 Legal environment Londone Williams February 4, 2014 Product liability has been a subject that can create issues within a business. There have been various businesses that have gone bankrupt as a result of product liability problems. It is important for a company to consider the risk and liabilities with great consequences. This paper will discuss the significance of product liability and the role retailers play. The product that will be discussed in this paper is the Lion Force boys Puffer coat. The Puffer Coat, was recalled February 4, 2014, the recall number is 14-100. The Puffer Coat was recalled due to hazardous strangulation of children. The Puffer Coat was made in China, and as with many other products, is imported into the United States. “They typical product liability case involves a defective product purchased by the plaintiff who was subsequently injured by the product” (Kluwer, 2007). The goal of the United States Consumer Safety Commission is to guard the public from irrational possibility to injuries connected with consumer products. The U.S. Consumer Safety Commission’s function is to observe corrective plans that are known as recalls. There are more than 300 recalls each year from different manufacturers and distributors. Some of the recalls that are made are done because the Consumer Safety Commission determines that a product is faulty. In......

Words: 1088 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wisconsin Product Liabilities Paper

...Wisconsin Product Liability Laws According to Find Law, a website dedicated to helping people find lawyers, “Defective or dangerous products are the cause of thousands of injuries every year in the U.S.” (Find Law, n.d.). If people are getting injured because of defective products, there must be some kind of legislation that protects consumers. Product liability laws are laws that were created so that people who are injured from a defective product can sue to recover damages. Keep in mind that a defective product does not simply mean that the product is broken. The Business Dictionary says that a defective product is “unfit for its intended use, dangerous or harmful for normal use, does not carry adequate instructions for its use, or is inherently dangerous due to defective design, assembly, or manufacture” (Business Dictionary, n.d.). If a product is dangerous to use, why would people still use it? Sometimes the danger that lurks within a product is not visible, and unfortunately it takes someone getting hurt before anyone notices that something is wrong with it. It is these types of products that product liability laws protect us from. So then, whose laws protect us? During this class, we have learned that federal laws are the highest laws of the land. That means that if a crime is committed, state courts must follow federal laws if there is a law in place for that particular crime. What are the federal laws when it comes to product liability? There are none. Product......

Words: 3225 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Ethical and Legal Environment of Organizations

...Loria Young Ethical and Legal Environment of Organizations (MOD 45) Abstract This paper will depict a discussion on the case studies found in week one of Ethical and Legal Environment. The information found in week one is a combination of how we look at business ethics, systems of ethical reasoning, and our goals of values in management. Ethical decision making in the business environment plays an important role in our everyday work environment. Here we will look at how some of the most notorious scandals within American history have cause new rules and codes to emerge that has surpass those of the past. The Enron Scandal will be the first that we will discuss; and how Kenneth Lay’s take on Enron’s values and vision played and important roles in how he operated in everyday business among other things. Next, we will look at the Kauffman-Harmon vs. Kauffman case, in how the courts viewed the children part in the transactions. Following that we have, Flagiello v. Pennsylvania Hospital, looking at the different way that the courts made have viewed the case if she was a burglar rather than a patient. Finally, we will look at Estate of Weingeroff v. Pilatus Aircraft, this action arose from tragic events on March 26, 2005, when a PC-12 turboprop aircraft that Pilatus had manufactured crashed while attempting to land in State College, Pennsylvania, and how the courts viewed this actions from the plaintiffs. This first case study will show how Kenneth Lay’s statement about...

Words: 2205 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Critical Legal Thinking Case 1

...Critical Legal Thinking Case Rubric Excellent | Good | Average | Needs Improvement | Recognize the applicable areas of law | 12.5 - 11.25 points Correctly states each area of applicable law. | 11.24 - 10.0 points Correctly states all but one area of applicable law. | 9.99 - 8.75 points Correctly states most of the areas of applicable law. | 8.74 - 0 points Misstates the areas of applicable law. | Identify the applicable principles of law | 25 - 22.5 points Correctly states each element or principle of law. | 22.4 - 20.0 points Correctly states most of the elements or principles of law. | 19.9 - 17.5 points Correctly states some of the elements or principles of law. | 17.4 - 0 points Correctly states only a few of the element or principle of law. | Identify the key facts | 25 - 22.5 points Correctly identifies each of the key facts. | 22.4 - 20.0 points Correctly identifies most of the key facts. | 19.9 - 17.5 points Correctly identifies some of the key facts. | 17.4 - 0 points Correctly identifies only a few of the key facts. | Apply the law to the facts to resolve the issue | 25 - 22.5 points States a decision that resolves the issue, supported by application of the elements or principles of law to the facts. | 22.4 - 20.0 points States a decision that resolves the issue, but fails to fully support it by application of the elements or principles of law to the facts. | 19.9 - 17.5 points States a decision that resolves the issue, but fails to......

Words: 1470 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Critical Thinking

...Week 2 The business context 1. Porter’s Five Forces Where does the power lie? How do I maximise my power and leverage? How do I identify and minimise my weaknesses? The threat of new entrants, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitute products or services and rivalry among existing competitors 2. Porter’s Generic Strategies How do I gain a competitive advantage in business? What strategies will help me achieve my goals? 3.1 The Cost Leadership Strategy 3.2.1 Increase profits by reducing costs 3.2.2 Industry-average prices 3.2.3 Increasing market share 3.2.4 Low costs mean greater profit You will need: 3.2.5 Strong control over Cost of Labour 3.2.6 Preferential access to raw materials, components etc. 3.2.7 Take advantage of economies of scale 3.2.8 Easy access to supply chains and affordable logistics 3.2 The Differentiation Strategy 3.3.9 Create a product that is perceived as unique 3.3.10 Brand Loyalty 3.3.11 Can provide better insulation from competition You will need: 2.2.4 Strong R&D 2.2.5 Creativity 2.2.6 Unique Marketing Strategy 2.2.7 Innovate to stay ahead of the competition 2.3 Focus Strategy 2.3.1 Focus on niche markets 2.3.2 Unique understanding of the market 2.3.3 Either cost leadership or differentiation You will need: 2.3.4 Unique/specific insight into the market 2.3.5 Knowledge of suppliers and......

Words: 9448 - Pages: 38

Premium Essay

Tort and Liability

...irresponsibility can cost businesses greatly or be forced to close (Business Regulation Simulation, 2009). It is important to identify, manage, and correct torts and regulatory risks for Alumina, Inc. so legal issues do not arise in the future. Alumina, Inc. is a $4 billion dollar USA-based industry leader in Aluminum making. They operated in eight countries around the world. The US accounts for seventy percent of its sales. Their business interests are in: automotive components, manufacturer of packaging materials, and aluminum smelting. Alumina falls under jurisdiction of Region 6 of the EPA. A tort is the French word for a “wrong.” The law provides remedies to persons and businesses that are injured by the tortuous actions of others (Cheesman, 2010). Kelly Bates claims Alumina did not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legal limit of producing PHA. The drinking water in Lake Dira was found to be unsafe, which caused leukemia in her 10 year old daughter. The plaintiff has filed a million dollar personal injury lawsuit against Alumina to recover punitive damages (Business Regulation Simulation, 2009). Two of the possible tort violations in this simulation are negligence and liability. The potential for negligence in this case must be proven to contain breach of duty and duty of care. The liability tort must prove failure to protect and failure to warn. Alumina, Inc. has a clean record in compliance issues except the violation that took......

Words: 300 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Is the Move Away from Contract and Towards Tort in Product Liability Cases Desirable?

...contract and towards tort in product liability cases desirable? Introduction The approach taken with product liability cases has shifted over time. The Sale of Goods Act (1893) was an act put in place to state the terms and conditions of the contracts for the buying and selling particular goods. This act was later reformed in 1979, which fundamentally followed the same rules; the buying and selling of good were regulated by contractual agreements between the buyer and the seller. However as time progressed the sale of goods and product liability is moving from contracts and more towards tort liability. Contracts are legal promises between the buyer and seller in which the buyer promises to pay for a product that the seller must promise adheres to the standard expected from the product. A breach of contract includes that the buyer does not pay the right amount, or the more likely breach that the product has a design or manufacture defect that causes injury to the buyer. Tort liability instead simply makes the manufacturer responsible for any ‘injuries’ that the product causes the consumer. The idea behind this was because the seller is simply the agent of the manufacturer who has no part in the production process of the good sold. In this essay we will explain why product liability is starting to shift from contracts to tort. We will also discuss how tort law has developed over time focusing on the negligence rule and strict liability. Product liability law has......

Words: 1856 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Business Regulation /Torts and Liability

...Business Regulation /Torts and Liability Pedro A. Díaz Ramírez BUS/415 10 de octubre de 2011 University of Phoenix Profesor: Jesús Rivera Delgado Business Regulation /Torts and Liability Daños y Perjuicios Kmart vs. Colón Hechos del caso: La Sra. Colón sufrió daños a su cuerpo porque una mercancía en el pasillo de deportes de la tienda Kmart de Cayey le cayó encima mientras ella pasaba por allí. En dicho pasillo había cajas y carritos con mercancía en medio del pasillo y que dichas cajas estaban colocadas más altas que la estatura de la cliente. A causa de esto, la Sra. Colón sufrió daños a su salud y quedó incapacitada de trabajar, jugar con su hijo, y hasta relacionarse con su esposo, según ella declara y lo certifican los ortopedas que la atendieron en el hospital. En vista de esta situación la Sra. Colón demanda a dicha tienda y el Tribunal determina que KMart violó la ley de seguridad para los clientes de su tienda e indicó que “el incidente acaecido era claramente previsible. Por tanto, le impuso responsabilidad a Kmart al amparo del artículo 1802 del Código Civil, 31 L.P.R.A. sec. 5141. Además, como argumento alterno, el TPI sostuvo que, en todo caso, su fallo se justificaba al amparo de la doctrina res ipsa loquitur. Finalmente, resolvió que Kmart actuó temerariamente al haber negado su negligencia y responsabilidad. La condenó, por tanto, al pago total de $81,064.28, más costas y $2,000.00 de honorarios de abogado. La sentencia se dictó el 25 de......

Words: 3073 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Legal Environment

...The Law and Ethics within a Business Noel Jones BUS 670: Legal Environment Professor Eliza Gordner January 16, 2012 The Law & Ethics within a Business In the world of business companies and their employees are bound by both ethics and the law. Ethics is defined as “the philosophical study of what is right and wrong, good and bad” (Liuzzo and Bonnie, 2010; p19). All those are companies are bound by the same code of ethics, they are not all bound by the same laws. Depending on the type of business, they will either be governed by Federal, State, Local, or a combination of the three law governing bodies. This paper will discuss an example of issue and demonstrate where the law, ethics, or both was violated by a company or its employee(s). First, is to discuss a bit about Ethics. Resisting Acts to Perform Unethically It is of the utmost importance that not only managers, but all employees, act and perform ethically while carrying out their duties. A manager or employee should try to recognize unethical acts, and also bosses. Although, an employee may not always be able to recognize unethical requests or bosses; therefore it is best to thoroughly consider what is being asked of them. It is possible that a boss may ask an employee to perform the unethical task for them in hopes that the employee does not realize or is just a “team player”. If this occurs, the employee should take action. An employee may “buy time” in order......

Words: 2515 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Product Liability

...Product Liability BUS:311 Instructor Samantha Hodapp November 28, 2011 Product Liability 1. Thesis a. As a consumer, you make product purchases on a consistent basis. Once you make your purchases, you are responsible for what happens to those purchases. However, the producers of these products are not completely free from accountability once their product is bought. This is where the term product liability comes into play. During this paper, I will explore the legal aspects of product liability and how it affects businesses. 2. What is product liability? b. According to our text, product liability is the accountability of a producer or seller for injury to buyers, users, and third parties. There are four elements that need to exist in order for the claimant to prove negligence by the manufactuer. These elements are duty, breach, proximate cause, and damages (Liuzzo & Bonnice, 2007). c. The bases for injury claims under product liability consists of product flaw, failure to warn, and design defect. These three characteristics generally become the foundation of claims filed against manufacturers (Liuzzo & Bonnice, 2007). 3. Who can be held liable for injuries caused by products? a. Manufacturers of products are not the only party that can be held liable for a product defect. Other parties that could be held liable include retailers, wholesalers, parts manufacturers, assembly workers, product endorsers, etc. Retailers are most......

Words: 567 - Pages: 3