The two companies, Grace and J. Riley leather Co. Inc. , were dumping the toxic waste on the nearby open ground for many years resulting in groundwater contamination. As the companies focused only on increasing the shareholder value by reducing the operational costs, they overlooked environmental health and safety regulations regarding toxic waste disposal. If companies would have followed the safe toxic waste disposal practices, it would have prevented tragic deaths of city residents, various illnesses, and groundwater contamination.
We can see that safe practices would have saved millions in expensive lawsuits, clean-up charges, and punitive and reputation damages. Utilitarianism: The companies should have done the cost-benefit analysis for all who would be affected by the decision of dumping the toxic waste on the open land. First, consider the consequence of dumping toxic waste to shareholders of the company, which is completely positive as it reduced the operational costs. The company did not envisage the water contamination or purposefully overlooked it in order to reduce the costs.
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Now, the consequence to other stakeholders such as city residents was mostly negative. Tragically, there were 12 deaths including 8 children and life threatening illnesses such as birth defects and miscarriages due to leukemia caused by the groundwater contamination. The defense lawyer (Teacher) proposes to settle with plaintiffs lawyer (Scholasticism) and states that the cost-benefit analysis doesn’t demand trial in this case. But, Scholasticism refuses the offer because he believes that the victims deserve more compensation than offered for their sufferings.
Demonology: The companies’ behavior of dumping toxic waste in the open ground violates the demonology principle as they lied to the community about the waste disposal by not disclosing it. Thus, they deprived the residents of making the informed decision about the risks associated with possible groundwater contamination. Also, one of the defense lawyers, Chessman was lying about the causes of deaths and illnesses thereby violating demonology principles. The company also lied to investigative authorities on the number of drums of toxic waste dumped.
Virtue ethics: The capitalist culture of the company meant that it cared only for the shareholder value. This was evident from companies’ action of dumping toxic waste on the open ground knowing what effects it can have on the environment. The poor moral abilities of the company led the covering up actions as well. Also, the lawyer’s behavior showed that they have no empathy for the victims. The lawyers were only interested in saving the companies money by offering as little money as possible to the victim’s families as compensation.
Ethics of care: The negligence on part of the companies coupled with the hunger for more profits or the company resulted in groundwater contamination by toxic waste and careless attitude toward the community led the cover up actions. Teacher, the company lawyer, too had no empathy or care for the victims and only cared about his client. Planters sloe AT ten case Even though the company’s primary goal is to generate more profit for the shareholders, they shouldn’t ignore the consequences of their actions. All the environmental health and safety procedures should have been followed on company’s part to prevent the groundwater contamination.
Even after the negative ensconce of their actions was established, companies didn’t accept their guilt and tried paying as little compensation as possible. As companies’ actions were responsible for deaths, the victim’s families were entitled to due compensation. Initially, the defense lawyer was unwilling to fight the case for the plaintiffs because he was concerned that all the investment was not worth the returns. Utilitarianism: The companies provided the Job opportunities to the area residents by establishing the manufacturing plants near the city.
But, the companies’ actions of dumping toxic asset on the open ground contaminated groundwater causing deaths and illnesses to area residents. So, the negative or harmful consequences outweigh the benefits from the companies for the victims. Scholasticism proposes due compensation for victim’s families for their sufferings and setting up of research foundation to study links between hazardous waste and illnesses. Demonology: The companies didn’t disclose that they were dumping the toxic waste on the open ground, so essentially, the companies lied to the city residents.
Also, the companies seed the employees to carry out the dumping activity for company’s own profits. They also abused the environment and Jeopardized people’s lives in doing that. If the dumping information would have been available to the people, they would have protested it through enforcement authorities and that way they would have had the chance to avoid deaths and illnesses. Virtue ethics: The companies’ actions of dumping the toxic waste were ethically wrong and the fact that they tried to blame the deaths and illnesses on other factors than the ground water contamination shows that the companies had poor virtues.
Alternatively, they should have accepted the moral responsibility of their actions. The corporate culture can explain this behavior as well as owner’s indifferent behavior. One of the employees discloses the dumping practice because of the high virtues he had. Ethics of care: The plaintiffs lawyer showed great commitment to bring Justice to the victim’s families because he cared about his clients. He found emotional connect with the clients and felt their pain and sufferings as his pain and sufferings. The individual members of the community also showed empathy towards each other.