2 business law discussions.
I’m working on a Business Law question and need guidance to help me study.
One of the most fundamental issues in business law involves the question of when a company can be held liable for the acts of an individual person, whether this involves a contractual obligation or a personal injury (meaning a tort). Choose one of the scenarios below and explain whether or not you think the business is liable for the acts under the principles of agency law.
- A real estate agent hires a handful of local kids to do the landscaping of homes that he is trying to sell. In addition to the general payment, he reimburses them for the cost of gasoline for lawn mowers and other equipment. While mowing a lawn, one of the kids loses control of a lawn mower and it mows down a neighbors very expensive collection of lawn gnomes.
- In a hurry to get his apartment complex painted, a homeowner hires three people he meets at the local home improvement store to do the work. Since they’re not professional painters, he provides all of the equipment and paint needed to do the work. While at the apartment complex, one of them breaks into an apartment, assaults the resident and steals a wallet.
- An entrepreneur decides to open up his own car-for-hire business, and creates an app allowing anyone to connect with people who need a ride. The passengers pay the entrepreneur, who in turn pays a percentage to the driver. Other than the app, the entrepreneur has no other involvement between the driver and the passenger. One night, a driver who is intoxicated picks up a passenger and then gets into an accident, and the passenger is severely injured.
The responsibility of the directors of a corporation is to provide a return to shareholders on their financial investment in the corporation . . . in other words, shareholders expect to make money on their investment. Corporations such as Facebook, Google, and Apple are financed through the sale of billions and billions of dollars in shares purchased by investors. Sometimes, however, the duty to maximize profits runs contrary to legal, but still questionable, business opportunities.
Assume that you’re the director of one of the corporations listed below and have been presented with the business opportunity described in the scenario. Would you advise the corporation to accept the opportunity? Make sure to fully explain your answer, considering both the financial return expected and any related ethical concerns.
- ToyCo has just been informed that it’s wooden trains produced in China contain lead paint and can no longer be sold in the United States. However, a distributor offers to negotiate a deal with a foreign company to sell the trains in a South American country that has no laws addressing the presence of lead paint in children’s toys.
- BabyHealth is seeing decreasing sales of its powdered infant formula in the United States due to more and more mothers choosing to breastfeed their babies. In an effort to offset these losses, BabyHealth chooses to sell their formula in third world countries. However, it is widely known that the water sources in these countries is often contaminated and not boiled prior to use.
- After producing 10 million versions of its new smartphone, PhoneLand discovers that due to a manufacturing oversight, some of the phones may catch fire if left in a car on a hot day. While the worst case financial impact from the phones catching fire is 10 million dollars in damages, recalling and repairing the phones will bankrupt the company.