Law & Ethics Chapter 1 – Law, Ethics, Business: An Introduction

Law & Ethics
Chapter 1 – Law, Ethics,
Business: An Introduction
Copyright © 2005 by Jeffrey Pittman
An Introduction
How does the study of law vary from the
study of ethics?
 Does the size and power of modern
corporations change the relationship
between the people and the government?
Freedom vs. Responsibility
Hypothetical Problem #1
 While at work, you receive a call from a
distraught customer
The customer is significantly behind in his
payments to your company and tells you that
he is financially ruined and he “has nothing to
live for”
Freedom vs. Responsibility
Do you have legal or ethical problems if
you respond as follows:
You tell the customer that, if he is serious, his
car exhaust in a closed garage (carbon
monoxide poisoning) is easy and pain free
You immediately call the police to notify them
of the situation
You do nothing
Yania v. Bigan
How do you respond to the four questions
following the case, page 4 of the
 Relate Yania to hypothetical problem #1
Hurley v. Eddingfield
Compare Hurley to Yania
How do the cases differ?
Does Hurley change your assessment of the
opening hypothetical?
Professional Oaths/Codes of Conduct
How has the Hippocratic Oath changed
over time?
Is an oath binding? Are professional
codes of conduct binding?
The Duty to Rescue
Should we have a broad “duty to rescue”
How does the Kitty Genovese murder affect
your view of rescue laws?
What are the parameters of existing duty
to rescue situations?
See pages 9-10 in the textbook (e.g.,
contractual obligations, “special relationships”,
endangering another, etc.)
Good Samaritans
How do state “Good Samaritan” statues
impact the duty to rescue question?
 For Arkansas law, see A.C.A. § 17-95-101
The Duty to Rescue
What components would be contained in a
duty to rescue statute?
 Consider the following issues:
When would a “rescue” be required?
What is a rescue?
What if the attempted rescue worsens the
Who is required to rescue?
Compensation for an injured rescuer?
Compensation from whom?
Business Liability for Protection
Hypothetical Problem #2
 Your marketing firm does a significant
amount of work for the Anti-Defamation
League, an organization committed to
stopping defamation of the Jewish people
 A car bomb exploded in your company
parking lot kills a firm employee and a
 Is the firm liable for damages?
Business Liability for Protection
McClung v. Delta Square
 What did the McClung court state about
protection of customers?
 How would you address the case
questions, pages 12-13 in the textbook?
The McClung decision is based on the tort
of negligence
 The plaintiff must prove the following
elements in a negligence case:
The defendant breached a duty of due care
owing to the plaintiff
The plaintiff was injured
The defendant’s breach “caused” the injury
Negligence Elements – Breach of a
Duty of Due Care
A breach of due care involves failing to
use the same care a reasonable person
would have used under similar
 The law does not require perfection, just
reasonable care
Negligence Elements – Causation
In proving causation, the plaintiff must establish
two causation components:
Causation in fact – did the injury occur because of the
defendant’s actions (failure to use due care)?
Proximate causation – was the injury foreseeable (was
the injury likely enough to happen that a reasonably
prudent defendant would have behaved differently)?
Defenses to Negligence
Assumption of risk
 Comparative or contributory negligence