Regulatory Laws and Torts in Alumina Simulation Kathleen Kraft-Smith LAW 531 Martine Anderson University of Phoenix Regulatory Laws and Torts in Alumina Simulation Alumina is a manufacturing plant specializing in automotive components, packaging materials, bauxite, refining, and smelting. Lately this organization has been dealing with an EPA violation that occurred, and was corrected, five years ago through an individual that states harm has occurred based on this violation. A closer look at this organization and the violation reveals regulatory risks that need to be managed, prevented and corrected.
Going through each scenario within the simulation we will present all the regulatory risks and liabilities, possible choices for management and the consequences of each choice for these risks, and a preventative plan to help eliminate future problems that may occur due to this violation. Problem 1. Release news story highlighting efficiency of the system and its clean record. This plan of action is usually a wise approach as it instills confidence into the public, letting them know that the organization understands the regulations and is all about adhering to them.
As in this case however the reporter falsely documented data which reflected negatively on the organization, which then a retort of the article had to be written. Alumina could have used this situation as a deformation case, but was satisfied with the paper publishing the corrected data. Approach Ms Bates to test her resolve. This approach may seem like a good idea as this individual seems to have been guided and may have malice intentions. However, in approaching Ms Bates this may reflect negatively on the organization as a manipulation or bulling tactic as well as an invasion of privacy issue.
Conduct an Independent site study to check for new violations. This approach is a wise one. By the organization doing this it insures that all standards are met incase this particular problem goes further in the litigation process. Arrange for a private investigation on Bates. This is a poor idea as it could create an invasion of privacy suit as well as cost the organization a lot financially. Looking at all four of these action plans the best plan would be to conduct an individual study to ensure that all process met EPA standards and give a press release showing the results.
This not only covers any liabilities that the organization my incur through the process but also puts the public at ease that this particular organization does care about the society around it and is involved in contributing to the pollution solution rather than creating a problem. To aid in preventing such an accusation from occurring again Alumina must continue to conduct internal investigations making sure that all processes are in compliance to EPA/OSHA standards. Problem 2. Ms.
Bates and the reporter are asking for the violation records of Alumina under the Freedom of Information Act. “The Freedom of Information Act, commonly known as the FOIA, was enacted by Congress in 1996 to give the American public greater access to the Federal Government’s records. ” (www. fcc. gov/foia/). However, as these files can become public there is still protection to the organizations under Section 552(b) of the FOIA. There are nine records that are exempt from disclosure.
Such items are internal personnel rules, agency practices as well as trade secrets, commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential, and records relating to the examination, operations, or condition of the institutions. (www. fcc. gov/foia). Possible Actions: Allow partial release of environmental audit report. This would be a wise choice as it shows willingness to cooperate with the accusers as well as secure all competitive confidential information. Object to disclosure of environment audit report citing confidentiality of business information.
This options gives the appearance of trying to hide information from the public, thus creating a false image, and creating a possible hysteria in the community. However, the organization does have the right to withhold sensitive business information. No objection to disclosure of environmental audit report. This alternative shows compliance, but could release information that could be detrimental to the organizations business obligations. The best solution here is to release a partial report giving the public what they request and ooperating with them while still withholding sensitive competitive information that could be detrimental to the organization. To help prevent a problem such as this in the future is to know what information the organization is considering industrial trade secrets and what can be public knowledge. It may even help to publicize the results of future inspections as a good faith measure for the community. Problem 3. Ms. Bates is suing Alumina for damages allegedly contributed to the violation. Possible Action: Negotiate with Bates offer a trust to help Bates with medical expenses.
This could be a plausible action plan but has no legal standing and negotiations could be interpreted differently by either side. This then could lead to a more costly venture such as a trial. Seek AAA intervention in solving the dispute. This should be one of the first options considered as it could keep the problem from exploding into a PR nightmare as well as solve any negligence issues that may have occurred by the EPA violation. Go to trial on the notion that Ms Bates does not have a case. Ms.
Bates allegations may be false, but there also may be some truth to what she is saying. This move is not only arrogant but risky as the interpretation of the law through a jury can go either way. This alternative is also the most financially expensive. The best solution in this particular case would be to try the AAA, as the decisions made are legally binding and can often find a common ground for both parties to agree to. This option, if effective, can save the organization in many ways, such as financially, but also their reputation is saved by not having to go through a public trial.
If this particular solution does not work one can then always approach the situation with a trial but most of the time a settlement can be made through the AAA. Conclusion: Being aware of the laws that effect a particular organization, such as in this case the Clean Water Act, and the FOIA, can help in reducing negligence suits other liabilities that may occur. Keeping a preventative strategy plan rather than a reactive plan will also help. In this case keeping the processes and machinery up to EPA standards and then allowing the public to view the inspection results.
This shows cooperation and community concern from the organization, and this positive PR could aid in the reduction of law suits in the future. References: Business Regulation Simulation. University of Phoenix. https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/secure/aapd/vendors/tata/sims/legal/legal_simulation1. html Jennings, M. M. (2006), Business: It’s Legal, Ethical, and Global Environment (7th ed), Mason, OH: Thomson Freedom of Information Act. Retrieved March 26, 2010 from http://www. fcc. gov/foia/ Summary of the Clean Water Act. Retrieved March 26, 2010 from
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