This assignment is about writing a plan for Alumina Inc. An aluminum maker company with a total of $ 4 Billion sales volume, based in the U.S. 70% of Aluminas sales derive from the US market and the rest is dispersed out of 8 different countries.
5 years ago, Alumina Inc was found in violation of Federal Laws. Alumina quickly and expeditiously corrected the problem that was a major embarrassment to the CEO and the company. My job will be to put together a plan so that an event like this will not happen again, and if something like this should transpire then the company will be proactive and have the contingency plan in place that will help resolve the problem and keep Alumina one of the best companies in the world.
This plan will focus on the torts and risks that Alumina faces in everyday business practices and this plan will focus of potential risks that may affect everyday business matters.
A tort is a civil wrong that provides remedy for its victims. There are three types of torts that our company must be aware of: Intentional, Negligence, and Strict tort liability. Alumina has to be aware of these types of torts, and the impact that committing them can have on the company. With this report we will look at how Alumina can react quickly if torts are committed. Many organizations deal with tort liability and management, and the proper management and preventative measures, which limit the organizations exposure to tort liability has become the key to businesses operating effectively and efficiently.
The prevention, detection, and corrective measures for each liability will be described. The best course of action to alleviate tort liability will be identified during this plan and the expected results of proper management for Alumina and any organizations that may be put in the same position as Alumina.
The most significant torts liability found in this case were, Defamation, Strict Liability, and Negligence. Other legal issues were found in the scenario resulting from a thorough investigation, but from a business standpoint these three tort liabilities are the most pressing in relation to management being able to make wise business decisions about the right course of action to take should something like this happen again.
In the Alumina case, the company was accused of violating Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and regulations, supposedly causing people to become ill. This tort can be prevented if the company discloses their preventive measurements and plans to avoid or mitigate any contamination or accident. The media department can do a better job in educating the general public on the company policies, procedures, and preventive actions, which ensure public well being and environmental safety. The company can also work with the local media to make sure that the truth gets released if something should occur.
Alumina was accused and had been fined 5 years ago for environmental discharges in the lake. The company worked very well with the government to get this taken care of as quickly as possible, but questions still remained about what these discharges did to the lake and the environment. The accusations about Alumina of conducting business with negligence and carelessness remained, and the questions of if this could have caused people to become sick. Preventative measures need to be in place by the company to make sure that if this happens, and Alumina is looking as accusations such as these, the company will provide partial disclosure of its actions on a regular basis. Alumina does not need to provide full disclosure in this matter to makes sure that its competitive position in the aluminum trade is not jeopardized. The media department here can also do a better job of making sure that all forms of media are up to date on the latest filings by Alumina, and that these media outlets provide information that is not based on innuendos and other undocumented documentation.
Public accusations were made in the case against Alumina that was based on claims that happened five year earlier about the pollution of the local water supply. The company was found to be in violation, but quickly cleaned up the violation and had a clean record since that one violation. Currently the company is in line with all federal statues regarding pollution. Alumina management believes that these accusations are based on data that is just not true but will have to address this issue.
Public perception has to be at issue when coming up with ways to address the issue of defamation against the company. Having the truth on your side is a huge defense, but as stated previously the truth does not matter sometimes when public opinion can be changed without the basis of truth coming into their perception. Prior poor performance is where these claims are coming from with Alumina, and the issue needs to be resolved to minimize any damage that may occur as a result of defending ourselves against this. Alumina needs to be proactive in the release of all environmental improvements that the company has made or will make. Alumina also needs to help fund an environmental protection program in its area to help public perception to sway in its favor. This environmental protection program will focus on ways to help everyone, not just Alumina become more environmentally friendly. The company needs to address the issue with Bates. This can be done through an alternative dispute resolution that will help keep the proceedings private. This ADR will also cost the company less money in the long run and be able to address all the issues at hand. The result from the official in charge of the proceedings needs to be binding because Alumina does not want this to go to trial. Another recommendation is that Alumina does need to donate to the leukemia foundation in Mrs. Bates daughter??™s name. This will help provide some kind of relief to the public that is following this story.
As the manager in charge of the team charged with coming up with legal issues in this case, we explored many different issues that arose. Strict liability, negligence, and defamation were the three most pressing issues that stood out that could cause Alumina serious problems. As a team we looked at how these torts affected the everyday business practices of Alumina, and when these practices are compromised management needs to take corrective action immediately. In retrospect the company could have had a better relationship with local media outlets to be able better to handle the situation at hand. This report made several other recommendations that the company needs to follow to be successful and help address issues that arise from actions that may compromise Alumina??™s competitive advantage in the world. Alumina??™s top management definitely needs to be aware of and help minimize torts and regulatory risks by putting the best legal and ethic managers in place to make sure problems like the ones presented in this simulation does not happen again.
Jennings, Marianne M. (2006). Business: Its Leagal, Ethical, and Global Environment (7th ed.). : Thompson Learning Inc..