Business Ethics Case
August 23, 2010
Kenneth Kanoose, J.D.
A) Is the defendant (The National Enquirer) subject to a lawsuit in California? In other words, can the plaintiff, Jones, a California resident, sue a company in California, even though that company (The National Enquirer) is incorporated in Florida? Why or why not? Explain your answer and legal reasoning fully.
The initial answer to the question is, yes. Plaintiff Shirley Jones had the right to sue the out of state defendant. Although the initial case held for the defendant in California Superior Court, on appeal, CA Court of Appeals and subsequently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, in a unanimous decision, held for the plaintiff, Shirley Jones.
Justice Rehnquist opined that, “Jurisdiction over petitioners in California is proper because of their intentional conduct in Florida allegedly calculated to cause injury to respondent in California”.
B) What is a business's obligation to build an ethical culture and balance its desire for profit with ethical responsibilities to employees, customers, society and the environment? Explain your answer fully.
According to chapter 1 of The Legal Environment of Business and Online Commerce, “Businesses that are organized in the United States are subject to its laws. They are also
subject to the laws of other countries in which they operate. Businesses organized in other
countries must obey the laws of the United States when doing business here. In addition,
businesspeople owe a duty to act ethically in the conduct of their affairs, and businesses
owe a responsibility not to harm society.”
In other words, companies conducting business in this country have an obligation to carry out their business practices in a manner that does no harm to anyone or anything. This includes the natural environment. Companies cannot dump harmful pollutants into the air, ground or waterways....