Introduction to Business Law and Ethics
Introduction to Business Law and Ethics Susana Silvestri Grand Canyon University BUS-340 October 17, 2010 Introduction to Business Law and Ethics Statutory interpretation was critical to the Supreme Court of Colorado’s resolution of a 2007 case, Pringle v. Valdez. Using an online source or sources, locate the Pringle decision. Then do the following: 1. Read Justice Bender’s majority opinion and prepare a case brief of the sort described in this chapter’s appendix on “Reading and Briefing Cases. 2. Read the dissenting opinion authored by Justice Coats. Then prepare a one-page essay that (a) summarizes the principal arguments made in the dissenting opinion; (b) sets forth your view on which analysis—the majority opinion’s or the dissenting opinion’s—is better; and (c) Provide the reasons for the view you have expressed in (b). 1. Case Briefing Pringle v. Valdez 06SC92 (2007) Court: Supreme Court Class: Civil Facts: Pringle lost control of the vehicle while taking Valdez home.
Valdez was not wearing his seatbelt causing a series of injuries when ejected of the vehicle. Valdez requested compensation for impairment and disfigurement, and noneconomic losses. The argument lays on the “Noneconomic losses” which might fall under the “pain and suffering” under the seatbelt defense. Issue: The wording used involving “pain and suffering” and “noneconomic damages” referred to in the Seatbelt defense provision Holding: Awarding of $400,000 for physical disfigurement and impairment. Rule:
The wording in dispute “pain and suffering” and “noneconomic damages” will be further evaluated. Analysis: “Pain and Suffering” and “noneconomic damages” are many times considered to be similar and by studying the demand of the case it can be ruled as been the same but using a different name. Conclusion: Non-award of $100,000 for noneconomic damages. Award of $400,00 for physical impairment and disfigurement. Pringle v. Valdez is obviously at first a case of Majority Opinion which in an appeal court was turned into a dissenting opinion.
Part of the case held while the other was discussed, studied and adjust for an accurate ruling, in order to explain and grant a decision by the jurors and the judge according with the Statutory Interpretation of the case. Mallor, J. P. , Barnes, A. J. , Bowers, T. & Langvardt, A. W. , 2010, p. 24 http://www. courts. state. co. us/Courts/Supreme_Court/opinions/2006/06SC92. pdf Jerrie Gray worked at a Tyson Foods plant where she was exposed to comments, gestures, and physical contact that, she alleged, constituted sexual harassment.
Tyson disputed the allegation, arguing that the behavior was not unwelcome, that the complained about conduct was not based on sex, that the conduct did not affect a term, condition, or privilege of employment, and that proper remedial action was taken in response to any complaint by Gray of sexual harassment. During the trial in federal court, a witness for Gray repeatedly volunteered inadmissible testimony that the judge had to tell the jury to disregard. At one point, upon an objection from the defendant’s counsel, the witness asked, “May I say something here? The judge told her she could not. Finally, after the jury left the courtroom, the witness had an angry outburst that continued into the hallway, in view of some of the jurors. The jury awarded Gray $185,000 in compensatory and $800,000 in punitive damages. Tyson believed that it should not have been liable, that the awards of damages were excessive and unsupported by evidence, and that the inadmissible evidence and improper conduct had tainted the proceedings. What courses of action may Tyson pursue? Tyson Foods entered a trial in a Federal Court after a sexual harassment case was filed.
Tyson Foods follow protocol and tried to solve the issue ahead of time. During trial the witness continued to make comments that were dismissed which were then awarded based on comments made after the hearing was completed and the company was liable to pay almost $1,000,000. 00. Based on Tyson Foods believes they should appeal the Federal Court decision due to the fact that the claims were unsupported by evidence. Also they should add the fact that the inadmissible evidence and improper conduct of the witness had tainted the proceedings issuing an unfair ruling.
You own a consulting firm with 32 employees and annual billings of $29,000,000. One of your clients, whom you bill an average of $1,200,000 annually, has asked you to hire her grandson. You know that the grandson has been recently graduated from a top-20 business school. He is 31 years old, has a solid academic record, and possesses the personal and professional skills to be successful as a consultant. You also know, however, that he is a recovering cocaine addict, having struggled with the addiction for five years prior to his attending business school.
Your firm has a strict no-drugs policy, which you usually interpret to exclude those who previously abused drugs. Using justice theory, justify a decision to exempt the grandson from your firm’s no-drugs policy. Could you make the same decision as a profit maximizer? This decision can doors to law suits for discrimination to previous applicants which applications had been denied. On the other hand, the company has the risk to loose a good client. As owner, I will first make sure to read, examine and adjust any clause related to hiring and the no-drugs policy. The words “recovering” and “recovered” are different.
Hiring someone in the recovering stage, the company is breaking the no-drugs policy. If adjustments are made to the policy to accommodate applicants from this point on that are “recovering” or “recovered” drug addicts, it will be to implementing random drug tests weekly. This will be costly to the firm but will guarantee the no-drug policy to remain unbroken; the potential new employee must agree to this practice and the consequences based on the results. Justice Theory is based on “the protection of those who are least advantaged in society” (Mallor, J. P. , Barnes, A. J. , Bowers, T. & Langvardt, A. W. , 2010, p. 5), making changes and adjusting the policy will fall under this category. Giving a second chance to those in disadvantage in society. Maximizer “requires a decision maker to maximize a business’s long-run profits within the limits of the law”(Mallor, J. P. , Barnes, A. J. , Bowers, T. & Langvardt, A. W. , 2010, p. 95) if this potential employee is capable to obey the policy and continue a successful recovery it could mean a win-win situation. You are assigned by your employer, Jay-Mart Corporation, an international discount retailer, to supervise the construction of ten new retail superstores in Shanghai, China.
All construction is being done by a Chinese-owned contractor in compliance with Ja to those iny-Mart’s construction standards. After an earthquake in China kills over 70,000 people, China’s legislature passes a statute requiring new buildings to have a greater ability to withstand a large earthquake. The Chinese contractor has approached you and suggested that the new Chinese construction standards are unnecessarily high, that Jay-Mart’s construction standards are sufficient to protect against any earthquake likely to occur, and that the cost of complying with the new Chinese construction standards will increase construction costs 20 percent.
What do you do if you believe that ethical behavior requires you to maximize Jay-Mart’s profits? A “profit maximization results in ethical conduct because it requires society’s members to act within the constraints of the law. A profit maximizer, therefore, acts ethically by complying with society’s mores as expressed in its laws. ” (2) (Mallor, J. P. , Barnes, A. J. , Bowers, T. & Langvardt, A. W. , 2010, p. 7) With this in mind the supervisor of the construction site, the decision has to be made were the company’s profit could be reduced to 20% due to the increase of the construction. This change should be shown to the company’s finance department. The profits at short term could be affected by going with the construction based on the laws standards. By actually continue with the original plan the company could be liable to law suits if another natural disaster occur and the construction standards were not followed, this could affect the long run profits of the company.
There are many ways to cut expenses; one that could be proposed can be to build 8 stores instead of the 10 originally proposed, this will absorbed the 20% increase to maintain the project under the stipulated budget without affecting the short term profit.
References Mallor, J. P. , Barnes, A. J. , Bowers, T. & Langvardt, A. W. (2010). Business Law (14th ed. ). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin http://www. courts. state. co. us/Courts/Supreme_Court/opinions/2006/06SC92. pdf (Retrieved October 12, 2010)