Does the XYZ hose company have an obligation to completely inform the public or farmers of the potential.
XYZ hose company faced an ethical challenge of deciding how to proceed with their dilemma involving the design of plastic hoses needed for the farming equipment that spreads ammonia in the soil.
The officials of the company were fully aware of the risk based on a study from a consultant. At first glance, it can be said that the company acted ethically in this ethical situation. XYZ’s actions were intended to give informed consent to the farmers, therefore protecting themselves from liabililty when failure occurs. The XYZ hose company thought they were passing liability to the customers by adding a disclaimer to the product. It appears that XYZ did not communicate the risk properly. The XYZ hose company did not thoroughly inform the public/farmers of the actual known risk of harm. They communicated the risk unethically by informing the farmers to change hoses periodically rather than informing them of the potential leaks that can cause harm. Also, the XYZ hoses company’s assessment of risk was unethical. They analyzed the findings from the consultant in a cost-benefit approach. It seems that the company believed that the benefit of a lower cost product outweighed the potential harm that can be caused. The risk was not an acceptable risk because the probability of the hoses failing and consequences of the failure was very high. They should have more of an obligation to protect the public from harm rather than benefit the public or company. It would seem that the company was purely looking at the benefits to the company which impeded their responsibility to act truly ethically. In regards to litigation, the company is liable for the harm caused because they did not convey the risk completely to the public.