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

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Law & Ethics
Chapter 1 – Law, Ethics,
Business: An Introduction
Copyright © 2005 by Jeffrey Pittman
1
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?

2
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”
3
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
4
Yania v. Bigan
How do you respond to the four questions
following the case, page 4 of the
textbook?
 Relate Yania to hypothetical problem #1

5
Hurley v. Eddingfield

Compare Hurley to Yania


How do the cases differ?
Does Hurley change your assessment of the
opening hypothetical?
6
Professional Oaths/Codes of Conduct

How has the Hippocratic Oath changed
over time?


See
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath.h
tml
Is an oath binding? Are professional
codes of conduct binding?
7
The Duty to Rescue

Should we have a broad “duty to rescue”
law?


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.)
8
Good Samaritans
How do state “Good Samaritan” statues
impact the duty to rescue question?
 For Arkansas law, see A.C.A. § 17-95-101
(2005)

9
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
situation?
Who is required to rescue?
Compensation for an injured rescuer?

Compensation from whom?
10
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
customer
 Is the firm liable for damages?
11
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?
12
Negligence
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
13
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
circumstances
 The law does not require perfection, just
reasonable care

14
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)?
15
Defenses to Negligence
Assumption of risk
 Comparative or contributory negligence

16
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