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Critical Thinking in the Legal Environment: Torts and Product Liability

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Critical Thinking in the Legal Environment: Torts and Product Liability
Fall 2009

Introduction

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…...

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