Businesses Discussion Questions

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Answer multiple discussions questions listed below with the minimum word count of 150 words per question in full detail.

1.Understanding the difference between strict liability and negligence can be challenging at first blush. There is in a sense a greater risk of liability where it is considered strict liability than negligence liability. Strict liability is not liability “no matter what” but it does tend to tilt the scales against the business. This is or tends to be the case, for example, when it comes to consumer financial transactions and products liability.

Should businesses bear this burden? Does it make for safer products, for example?

2.Where else can you see where we hold people responsible even if they are not the direct cause of a mishap? What about parents being held responsible, i.e. liable, if while away for the weekend (in another state) their teenager, without permission or knowledge of the parents, holds a drinking party at their home where someone gets drunk and while driving home at 2 am crashes into someone else causing injury?

3.what do you think of the law’s concern, particularly in a tort context, but generally as well, of burden shifting even where the liability is not “knowing” or “casual” (for example, in the Pinto case (Grimshaw), or for that matter the McDonald’s case (Leibeck). This is similar and obviously shows a kind of pattern in the law around shifting the burden of liability on the one with more control.

4.Will cyber coordination and cooperation, both domestically as well as internationally, similar to the approach to terrorism be necessary, the later as analogue for the former?

5.So which is it? It is understandable from the point of view of the individual consumer that you would want it safer but what if it indeed better for most people that is quickly available and less expensive?

6.Is the tort system adequate to this challenge? Puts a new spin on the age-old notion of “Buyer beware,” doesn’t it?

7.What did happen in the famous/infamous “McDonald’s coffee cup” case? Many, many people have heard of it, but what actually happened, though? [There is a short summary of it in the textbook but it is a fascinating case which has gotten quite a bit of publicity. The “Caution: Contents Hot” on every fast-food beverage lid is a indirect result of the case and almost a meme of the whole idea of consumer protection.] Too much?

8.What do you think of the legal panel presentation relative to the popular media presentation of the case? There is a difference of course and that has something to do with the notion of tort reform as well.

9.Do you think the penalties that are typically imposed on corporate executives for “white-collar crimes” are sufficient?

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