Module 5

After viewing The Corporation this week, your assignment is to research a situation/example of egregious corporate mis-doings which led to either consumer losses, the enactment of new protection law, safety recall, justice investigations or just better hindsight. Some of this will be a good lead in to Chapter 6.

Cut and paste the article or video you found along with a short synopsis (no more than a paragraph) of your insight into the unethical behavior and the outcome. Here are a few examples (Bernie Madoff, Enron, Subprime mortgages, Daraprim price hike, Lehman Brothers, Volkswagen).   Try to provide a hyperlink to your findings.

This post is due Saturday. You are not required to reply to other classmates posts, but you must review them to ensure we don’t have duplication. We want diversity, so don’t duplicate someone else’s example.

 

50 Comments for “Module 5”

zsstallings

says:

Movie Enron: Smartest guy in the room
This movies actually covers many crimes that Enron and it’s employees did. To The Valhalla scandal started when two traders of Enron illegally traded Enron money, making them millions. When CEO Mr. Lay was notified about the transactions of the traders, he took no disciplinary actions on the two traders. Instead, Mr. Lay sent an email to those traders stating,”keep making us millions”. It wasn’t until after he found out that they were stealing money and sending it to offshore accounts that they were fired. The two traders gambled away all of Enron’s financial reserves, nearly causing them to go into bankruptcy. Luckily, thanks to Mike Muckleroy, Enron was able to trick the market to buy Enron some time to recover from the dealing of the two traders. The California electricity crisis involved traders of Enron manipulating the electricity to increase the prices in California. They would do this by simply calling the plant and having them turn off the power and making an excuse as to why the power was off. The video plays an audio recording of the traders discussing the outages and laughing about it because it was not only making Enron rich but the traders too. This movie show’s how the business practices of Enron were bases on greed and power. However, In the end, may of Enron’s senior leaders were charged and convicted of fraud, insider trading and many other crime.

Reference:
Enron: the smartest guys in the room. (n.d.).

adavis107

says:

I like it, people are responsible, as seen here; two people with ill intent stole money that was not theres to take. After seeing this play out several times in my life, one thing remains; people will manipulate, steal, barter, trade, sell their granny just to get ahead if only for a little while. That to me is the immorality listed so many times in our text. How about we see some moral cases to set our moral compass in the right direction?

adavis107

says:

Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice was appointed by the Court to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) and has played a leading role on the PSC’s negotiating and financial committees responsible for the $14.7 billion “Clean Diesel” settlement for owners of 2.0-liter TDI vehicles, the largest auto-related consumer class action in U.S. history, and the $1.2 to $4.4 billion settlement for owners and lessees of 3.0-liter Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen TDI vehicles.
Great example of Corporation greed as I see it. Profit over compliance is king in this example. Faulty product design with intention of misleading emission testing are the results of the greed evident to me. Excess NOx released into the atmosphere was caught after seven years of abuse to US Clean Air laws. “VW installed software that intentionally changed the vehicles’ emissions production during official testing.” according to https://www.lieffcabraser.com/consumer/vw-emissions-recall/. What really amazes me is how America’s EPA/Court system’s legality extends to three brands of European vehicles emissions, that is leverage on an international level! True, I’m not a fan of California’s somewhat overbearing demands of compliance, this case was the exception.

jevantreese

says:

The article/ subject I chose was Fyre Festival, often dubbed as “The Greatest Party that Never Happened”, in which 27-year-old Billy McFarland scammed roughly 100 investors out of $26 million dollars. In essence, this “once in a lifetime experience” was meant to be the ultimate luxury music festival, set on an island in the Bahamas, in which the largest names in the music industry were meant to perform in an all-inclusive experience that would also provide tropical excursions, five star dining and art exhibitions.

Tickets cost anywhere from $500 to $100,000, and the festival was promoted by high profile influencers, such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, who reportedly received $275,000 for a single Instagram post for advertising the festival. The reality of the situation was much different, as McFarland defaulted on loans which resulted in the festival being severely underfunded. Musical performers began to pull out and the horror of the situation was realized as the “luxury tents” meant for accommodations turned out to be ripped, damp and damaged disaster tents. The gourmet food experience ended up being two slices of bread, two slices of cheese and lettuce with dressing. Many of the caterers and workers setting up the festival never got paid and ended up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. So how did this happen? In essence, McFarland falsified bank statements meant to convince investors that his company, Fyre Media was worth $90 million (news flash: it wasn’t)

One concert attendant remarked of the festival, “No beds and port-a-potties. Everyone’s luggage was being held in these 20-foot shipping containers. It got to a point where Billy McFarland was standing on a table in the middle of a field trying to direct people. I had to physically fight my way to the cargo containers to get my luggage, which they had been holding. I then tried getting a hotel room, but every hotel was booked out because there is a separate festival going on for locals. So, there isn’t anywhere else to stay.”
In the end, the festival was announced that it would be “rescheduled”, and attendees would be flown back to Miami, which was also botched as hundreds of consumers had to sleep on the floor. Attendees still report to this day that they have been unable to obtain a refund on their tickets. Despite only having $57,443 funded at the start of the festival, Fyre Media paid out more than $5.2 million in total to influencers and prospective celebrity performers.

Concerning Billy McFarland, the article goes on to state, “In October 2018, McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay more than $26 million in restitution to the investors and customers he defrauded. McFarland also reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over fraud charges in July 2018, with McFarland agreeing to a lifetime ban on him ever serving as a director or officer of a public company”. However, no other Fyre Media executives were charged, and while consumers lost thousands of dollars of money with little to no restitution, influencers merely received a slap on the wrist with some fines, most of which were less than the amount of money received for advertising the festival in the first place. Kendall Jenner was fined $90,000, essentially making $185,000 to essentially aid in scamming thousands of people. Many of the caterers and workers lost everything to this festival, pouring out all their life savings in the belief that they would eventually get paid.

Article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/18/how-fyre-festivals-organizer-scammed-investors-out-of-26-million.html

dcheek3

says:

David Cheek
From my understanding, Penn Square Bank made loans based on the assumption that oil was going to $100. They divided up the loans and interested payments to other banks that were interested. Oil prices dropped and people wanted money. The banks did not have the cash on hand to handle to amount of transactions and the federal bank had to intervene to pay depositors that was insured. The others that were not insured did not come out of the situation favorably. This caused a huge issue by speculating on assets and created new regulations for banks to follow. I am not describing the situation the best, but really is interested if you are interested in doing more research. Especially, if you plan on going into banking or investing.
Link https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=PE009
Below is article.
PENN SQUARE BANK.
The failure of Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City had a devastating effect on the U.S. banking system when the bank was declared insolvent on July 5, 1982. The ill-fated financial institution started in 1960 in a shopping mall. Penn Square Bank had a drive-up window to make transactions more convenient for suburban housewives with children to manage. In 1975 William Paul “Bill” Jennings purchased the bank and began to finance oil exploration and drilling. The bank made loans and then sold shares in the loans to other banks. As payments came in, Penn Square charged a fee to divide up the funds among the banks according to their share or “participation.” This allowed Penn to originate over $2 billion worth of these investments.
By the late 1970s the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s examinations indicated that Penn Square Bank was overextended. When oil prices dropped in 1981, the situation quickly turned desperate. Depositors withdrew $50 million in May 1982, and by July examiners knew the bank could not survive. They spent the Fourth of July weekend setting up the closure of Penn Square and forming a new bank so that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) could pay the $207 million that was due to insured depositors. Uninsured deposits of $163 million were not paid.
The oil loan shares caused problems for numerous other banks and precipitated a crisis in the entire banking system. Seattle First National Bank (Seafirst) in Washington was one of the first failures to result from losses on the participations. Soon after, Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company in Chicago, which had participated in the loans in the amount of almost $1 billion, became the largest bank failure in U.S. history up to that time, and the first bank to be actually acquired and operated as a federal government enterprise. Penn Square Bank’s failure resulted in the revision of Oklahoma’s banking laws and tighter regulatory control on the nation’s banks through the passage of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991.
Lynne Pierson Doti
See also: BANKING INDUSTRY, OKLAHOMA ECONOMY, PETROLEUM INDUSTRY, TWENTIETH-CENTURY OKLAHOMA
Bibliography
Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 2—8 July 1982.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Managing the Crisis: The FDIC and RTC Experience, 1980—1994 (Washington, D.C.: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 1998).
Lynne Pierson Doti and Larry Schweikart, Banking in the American West: From Gold Rush to Deregulation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).
Irvine H. Sprague, Bailout: An Insider’s Account of Bank Failures and Rescues (New York: Basic Books, 1986).
Phillip L. Zweig, Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1985).

Citation
The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Lynne Pierson Doti, “Penn Square Bank,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=PE009.
© Oklahoma Historical Society.

George Deal

says:

The questionable business ethics is chose to research is the Foxconn suicides in 2010. In a very short amount of time Foxconn Industries (a electronics production company supplying Apple, Nintendo, Hewlett-Packard and many more) had 17 suicides from their production plants in China. These suicides were linked to poor living conditions and wages offered by Foxconn. One of these suicides left a note directly attributing his death to the living conditions. Manufacturers using Foxconn’s components swore to launch an investigation into these conditions, which spurned the company into installing suicide nets around the buildings to catch jumpers, implementing a 20% pay raise (claiming it was scheduled prior to the suicides), and working to improve factory provided living conditions. This raises many ethical questions, looking into both the initial conditions of Foxconn, but also to the manufacturers using their products. Was it right to utilize their components, knowing that they were the lowest bidder at the cost of employee well being? This also left many global consumers debating whether it was acceptable to purchase these products.

https://www.forbes.com/2010/05/28/foxconn-apple-suicides-china-opinions-columnists-gordon-g-chang.html

vgsmith

says:

Hello everyone!

For the purpose of this discussion board, I have selected the most recent Wells Fargo scandal, the encouragement for employees to cross-sell products, enhance sales volume, and meet specific quotas to maintain positions in the company. Before I dive into the grit of this situation, it is worth noting that many corporations hold their employees to quotas and standards; however, it appears as though the pressure placed on employees by Wells Fargo surpassed anything people have experienced before. In order to meet the quotas, branch staff created checking and savings accounts under other customers’ names, but used their contact information to keep them from finding out. In the Wells Fargo system, employees can “pin” a customer’s account, meaning they have the ability to change the pin without the customer’s consent. To keep customers from knowing what was going on, the employees were able to change the pins to keep the scam going. Over time, customers started noticing the fees associated with accounts they did not open, so eventually, both civil and corporate lawsuits were filed against the company. Now, in 2020, Wells Fargo has paid out more than $3 billion in damages, the CEO has resigned, and consumer hindsight has risen. At the end of the situation, Wells Fargo admitted they levied unrealistic sales goals against the employees and are taking appropriate measures to regain consumer trust and confidence.

According to this week’s textbook chapter, there are multiple steps Wells Fargo can take now to regain consumer trust and confidence. Notably, the text suggests corporations acknowledge the importance of ethical business, make an effort to have a moral responsibility in society, and recognize their faults rather than being defensive (Shaw, 2017). With these steps, I’m confident Wells Fargo will be able to take appropriate measures to build trust and confidence. Although the behaviors were incredibly wrong, with a small adjustment in values, I believe Wells Fargo will be able to rectify the situation.

To read more, here is a link to the source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/02/24/wells-fargo-forced-to-pay-3-billion-for-the-banks-fake-account-scandal/#85989da42d26

Reference
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

John Carlson

says:

The topic I choose was on WorldCom and CEO Bernard Ebbers. The scandal that took place was an accounting 11$ billion-dollar accounting fraud that ended up in the with Bernard Ebbers with a 25-year prison sentence. Bernard Ebbers was chasing massive growth in short timeframes. He had achieved much success through mergers and acquisitions. He was leveraging the stock of WorldCom the Bernard Ebbers owned a large amount of WorldCom stock and was artificially inflating the accounting to appear that the company was doing a lot better than it was. This caused the stock price to increase, which allowed him to buy more companies; eventually, it leads to his demise and billions in fraud and damage and new checks and balances for the company issued by the bankruptcy court. This is an unfortunate story WorldCom had plenty of potential to still be a successful company but poor ethical behavior and decisions along with a lack of patience caused unnecessary damage to everyone involved.

link https://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/45542.html

sbishop7

says:

From the website of the U.S Attorney’s Office, Western District of Pennsylvania:

Pittsburgh-Area Lab Owner Pleads Guilty To Multiple Kickback Conspiracies In Connection With Almost $130 Million In Medicare Claims For Genetic Testing

A resident of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to three conspiracy counts and one substantive count related to the payment and receipt of unlawful kickbacks, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Ravitej Reddy, 52, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV.

During his plea hearing, the defendant admitted that he owned two testing laboratories–Personalized Genetics, LLC, d/b/a Personalized Genomics (PGL), located in Pittsburgh, and Med Health Services Management, LP (MHS), located in Monroeville. Beginning as early as May 2018, and continuing through approximately April 12, 2019, the defendant admitted that he participated in three separate conspiracies related to Medicare billing for two types of genetic testing: cancer genomic testing (CGx) and pharmacogenetic testing (PGx). CGx testing used DNA sequencing to detect mutations in genes that could indicate a higher risk of developing certain types of cancers in the future. CGx testing, however, was not a method of diagnosing whether an individual presently had cancer. PGx testing detected specific genetic variations in genes that impacted the metabolism of certain medications. In other words, PGx testing helped determine, among other things, whether certain medications would be effective if used by a particular patient.

… The defendant further admitted that he and his co-conspirators took advantage of PGL’s and MHS’s physical locations within the Medicare coverage area that offered the highest reimbursement rates in the United States. The court was further advised that the co-conspirators used PGL and MHS as the billing laboratory despite the fact that the labs did not possess properly validated equipment to conduct any CGx testing on-site and, as such, were forced to send samples for proper testing by a so-called reference laboratory that was located outside of the lucrative coverage area.

During the plea hearing, the defendant admitted to his participation in three separate kickback conspiracies related to the acquisition of CGx and PGx specimens–an initial conspiracy between May 2018 and April 12, 2019, involving Medicare billings through PGL and two side conspiracies between October 2018 and April 12, 2019, involving Medicare billings through MHS. The defendant further admitted that he engaged in the second and third conspiracies with some, but not all, of the same co-conspirators as the first conspiracy, and he pursued these alleged side deals, in part, as a means to increase his share of the profits relative to the first PGL-based conspiracy. Finally, the defendant pleaded guilty to a substantive charge of paying percentage-based kickbacks to another unrelated marketing entity in connection with the acquisition of PGx and other testing samples between October 2017 and April 2019.

The defendant admitted that he caused PGL and MHS to submit Medicare claims for CGx and PGx testing that regularly exceeded $12,000 per beneficiary. In total, between May 2018 and April 12, 2019, the defendant’s laboratories billed Medicare more than $127 million for CGx and PGx testing, with reimbursements of approximately $60 million.

Pursuant to a written plea agreement, the defendant further agreed to make restitution to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the amount of $77,328,319.82.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/pr/pittsburgh-area-lab-owner-pleads-guilty-multiple-kickback-conspiracies-connection
—————————————————————————————————
This is just one of several recent large Medicare fraud cases, typically involving repeated billings to the federal government for services not performed, or in excess of services provided. The U.S justice department seems to be both committed in going after the wrongdoers, and is having success in prosecuting them during the past eight years or so. It’s difficult to say whether the problem is “under control.” It seems to be a pattern, which could indicate otherwise, or it could mean changes in enforcement procedures, laws, etc. have netted more results. In this case as in others like it, focusing solely on personal gain (egoism) at the expense of others is a primary ethical issue. One big ethical problem: if people received a bogus “no cancer mutations” test result, but were actually at risk because they do in fact have cancer-related genetic mutations. Two general areas of harm in these cases: one, defrauding the citizens of the U.S. (tax dollars used for private gain rather than public benefit); and two, violation of the public trust. I would argue that the latter often has the more deleterious effect because it creates a perception that private wrongdoing is government “waste, fraud and abuse”.

sbishop7

says:

Amending original post:

False negatives (have cancer genes but not detected) may not be an issue here, because:
“the labs did not possess properly validated equipment to conduct any CGx testing on-site and, as such, were forced to send samples for proper testing by a so-called reference laboratory”.

The major ethical breaches remain: (1) direct harm to victims (those who were conned into genetic testing) by inducing them to provide access to their private genetic information under false pretenses, and undermining their trust in health care (e.g., physicians, telemedicine); (2) theft from the public and the undermining of trust in public institutions (Medicare, government services in general).

Side note: Although Reddy’s company was an LLC not a corporation per se, issues of wrongdoing are similar, because both protect against liability (often that is the only reason for the formation of an LLC)

McKiness, Brock A.

says:

Many of the largest health care companies have long wrap sheets of lawsuits and penalties. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is the world’s largest of those companies and has accumulated a long list of lawsuits, recalls, and settlements. This particular summary, I attached below, highlights Johnson and Johnson’s most popular products and business subsidiaries. Along with this is included the product recalls since 1982 and lawsuits since 2016. If you notice, several different meshes are included on these lists. The reason this caught my eye during research was a lawsuit I recently became aware of involving my barber. She received a large settlement from a mesh manufacturer that continued to manufacture and use mesh after it was brought into question. Just from February 2016 to March 2018 J&J paid out $1,670,300,000 in lawsuits across their different products. I wonder if these continuous misdoings in this industry are similar to what The Corporation documentary suggested about it being cheaper to accept the risk of a lawsuit than to reduce profits with quality control.

https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturers/johnson-and-johnson/

srtukua

says:

Wharton’s, University of Pennsylvania, Podcast personalities John Paul MacDuffie and David Zaring discussed the emissions cheating scandal of Volkswagen on the show titled “Exhausted by Scandal: ‘Dieselgate’ Continues to Haunt Volkswagen.”
Research shows that Volkswagen’s ambition to become the top automaker in the world, by volume, enticed the company to make the unethical decision to market their vehicles with clean diesel engines even after increasing emissions standards placed the company out of compliance. There were rumors of a cover-up but nothing conclusive and all questions and inquiries into the matter were met with immediate rebuttal by the company. However, the inquires continued and intensified. These were the warning signs of an impending crisis that would soon unravel for Volkswagen and to date, have cost the company more than $30 billion in lawsuit settlements, restitution, penalties, and fines.
What I think makes this case uniquely unethical is the Corporation’s repeated statements of inaccuracy and complete denial of any wrongdoing. Redactions from statements made to the press were often conflicting and when recounts and rebuttal statements were given, they were frequently huge shifts from the original positions. This inaccuracy significant hurt their reputation, specifically with public trust. In this case, the continuance into actions and behaviors that they knew were wrong and misleading by selling impacted vehicles between 2006 and 2013 only compounded the problem. Trust as we know takes a long time to establish and these unethical business practices immediately destroyed or significantly impacted the public trust with the Volkswagen Coorporation.

Resources
Britton, C. (2017, February 7). 3 Crisis Management Case Studies We Can Learn From.
Retrieved from https://www.rockdovesolutions.com/blog/3-crisis-management-case-studies-we-can-learn-from

Business Radio. (2019, March 21). Why the Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Hasn’t Gone Away. Retrieved from https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/volkswagen-diesel-scandal/

jpeterson20

says:

For this exercise, I chose the Boeing 737 MAX scandal that has led to federal investigations. I found this youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2tuKiiznsY&vl=en courtesy of Vox that details the reason the 737 MAX (a nearly brand new aircraft) had two separate crashes in a very short time frame. In the video, it is explained that the MAX aircraft was manufactured by Boeing in response to Airbus manufacturing a new aircraft with better engines. Airbus is Boeing’s most fierce rival. A problem arose when the engines Boeing chose were too large to fit under the wing of the airplane. Boeing had to move the new engine further up on the wing, which changed the aerodynamics of the airplane in a dangerous way. When the engines were producing max power, they caused the airplane to pitch too far upward. Boeing’s solution to this was to install software that pitched the nose back down. However, part of their marketing strategy in selling the 737 MAX was that it flew similar to older 737s. Because of this, Boeing did not train pilots on the new software. As many of you know, this software was a contributing factor in both MAX crashes in 2018. In essence, it is expected that the software failed. The airplane thought it was continuously pitching up, and in response, it pushed the nose lower and lower, eventually causing the airplanes to fly rapidly into the ground.
In my opinion, Boeing made abhorrent miscalculations by not training pilots on the new software. However, both of the major crashes many of you know about could have been prevented had the pilots not been so inexperienced. Many factors played into the crashes, and the software was not necessarily the main factor. For more information on what I feel is the most complete explanation of the accidents, see this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html

besam

says:

The situation I chose to research was Trump University. I had heard about it but never actually read any articles or detailed explanations. Trump University was established in 2005 and operated until 2010, as a real estate training program. The training consisted of three and five day seminars, wherein, those attending were bombarded with high pressure sales tactics from instructors, who encouraged them to buy into more courses or memberships that cost thousands of dollars. The instructors were encouraged to use sales tactics, including a technique called “the roller coaster of emotions” because playing on people’s emotions would sell. In the time it was open there were approximately 3730 students that attended the trainings. After suits were filed in New York and California; and Trump was elected President of the United States, he settled the lawsuit, never once claiming wrongdoing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/us/trump-university-settlement.html

Brian Farnes

says:

I chose to go with an older example of corporate misdeeds, the story of the Radium Girls and the U.S. Radium Corporation. In the early 1900’s radioactive radium was used to paint watch dials, and the U.S Radium Corporation knowingly exposed hundreds of workers to this substance without alerting them of the hazards. In the occupational health and safety industry it’s a well-known story since it was one of the incidents that started the push towards safer workplaces and early workplace safety regulations. The Wikipedia page on the subject provides an excellent overview of what happened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls

From 1917 to 1926, U.S. Radium Corporation, originally called the Radium Luminous Material Corporation, was engaged in the extraction and purification of radium from carnotite ore to produce luminous paints, which were marketed under the brand name “Undark”. The ore was mined from the Paradox Valley in Colorado[2] and other “Undark mines” in Utah.[3] As a defense contractor, U.S. Radium was a major supplier of radioluminescent watches to the military. Their plant in Orange, New Jersey, employed over one hundred workers, mainly women, to paint radium-lit watch faces and instruments, misleading them that it was safe.

Radiation exposure

U.S. Radium Corporation hired approximately 70 women to perform various tasks including handling radium, while the owners and the scientists familiar with the effects of radium carefully avoided any exposure to it themselves; chemists at the plant used lead screens, masks and tongs.[4] U.S. Radium had distributed literature to the medical community describing the “injurious effects” of radium. In spite of this knowledge, a number of similar deaths had occurred by 1925, including the company’s chief chemist, Dr. Edwin E. Leman[5], and several female workers. The similar circumstances of their deaths prompted investigations to be undertaken by Dr. Harrison Martland, County Physician of Newark.[6]

An estimated 4,000 workers were hired by corporations in the U.S. and Canada to paint watch faces with radium. At USRC, each of the painters mixed her own paint in a small crucible, and then used camel hair brushes to apply the glowing paint onto dials. The then-current rate of pay, for painting 250 dials a day, was about a penny and a half per dial (equivalent to $0.299 in 2019). The brushes would lose shape after a few strokes, so the U.S. Radium supervisors encouraged their workers to point the brushes with their lips (“lip, dip, paint”), or use their tongues to keep them sharp. Because the true nature of the radium had been kept from them, the Radium Girls painted their nails, teeth, and faces for fun with the deadly paint produced at the factory.[7] Many of the workers became sick; it is unknown how many died from exposure to radiation.

Radiation sickness

Many of the women later began to suffer from anemia, bone fractures, and necrosis of the jaw, a condition now known as radium jaw. It is thought that the X-ray machines used by the medical investigators may have contributed to some of the sickened workers’ ill-health by subjecting them to additional radiation. It turned out at least one of the examinations was a ruse, part of a campaign of disinformation started by the defense contractor.[4] U.S. Radium and other watch-dial companies rejected claims that the afflicted workers were suffering from exposure to radium. For some time, doctors, dentists, and researchers complied with requests from the companies not to release their data.[8] At the urging of the companies, worker deaths were attributed by medical professionals to other causes. Syphilis, a notorious sexually transmitted infection at the time, was often cited in attempts to smear the reputations of the women.[9]
The inventor of radium dial paint, Dr Sabin A. Von Sochocky, died in November 1928, becoming the 16th known victim of poisoning by radium dial paint. He had gotten sick from radium in his hands, not the jaw, but the circumstances of his death helped the Radium Girls in court.[10]

Radium Girls. (2020, June 11). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls

Jordyn S

says:

For this module I decided to look into the Uber scandal that began in 2017. When Uber first became popular, they started receiving sexual Harassment and Assault reports that we left unresolved. Over the next few months that we came more and more reports that were left unresolved and nothing was done about them or nothing was improved within the company to reduce those rates. At the time Uber was still due and very money hungry so they were hiring anybody that wanted to work for them. Due to this they were hiring criminals, trafficked individuals working for money, under age persons without a drivers license. They were performing minimal test to determine the integrity of the individual wanting to work for them. This lead to greater lawsuits. In an article written by the Washington post, it is about the Uber scandal and what they did to try to cover it up. Instead of trying to solve the harassment allegations or improve the screening of the drivers, they just released commercials in order to promote and reiterate the original image of the company. Because of their greed and money hungry intentions, they spent more time laying off their workers that were responsible for Uber’s image than they did laying off those through the allegations of sexual harassment were made for. Due to the increase of sexual-harassment claims they ended up losing lots of investors almost to the point of bankruptcy. More layoffs began and those who were assaulted never got closure. Uber was more concerned for their image and money than they were for the men and women assaulted. The outcome of the Uber scandal is still yet to be resolved. They have implemented some safety features to the app and allowed women to request women as drivers and other safety features. They’ve implemented alerts telling it riders to check the license plate and confirm the Uber before stepping inside the Vehicle. There are still sexual-harassment claims being made to this day and they are still on the rise and there hasn’t been a fully resolved outcome.

Here is the link to the article referred to in the post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/29/even-after-ubers-ipo-long-shadow-deleteuber-still-looms/

sjacobs12

says:

I was initially writing about United Airlines and how they forcibly removed a passenger from a flight, which shines a light on the malpractice of overselling seats for an industry, rather than a specific company. In turn, I focus my attention on the Volkswagon Group (VW) and diesel gate, which is more brand-specific. Back in 2015, VW was caught by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for installing a device that changed a vehicle’s emissions system when the car detected it was being tested, resulting in the car passing an emissions test. VW decided to so this based on a cost-saving measure; the metal needed for the car’s exhaust system to be environmentally friendly was overly priced according to VW, so they choose a cheaper approach. They used a more affordable metal, which has a chemical reaction with the exhaust fumes making the car release significantly more CO2.
As the VW group was knowingly manufacturing faulty vehicles, they were falsely marketing towards consumers, by making claims that weren’t true. For example, by purchasing a VW diesel product, you’ll be saving the Arctic, and polar bears will love you. In reality, the consumer would be doing the opposite.
Today, the VW group has paid more than 27 Billion dollars, with many top executives resigned or fired, along with some prosecutions. Five years later, the remnants of the diesel gate can still be seen; there are large commercial parking lots full of un-environmentally friendly cars just sitting there. It’s always a matter of time till they are all recycled or repurposed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772

jlboyce

says:

The topic I chose was the FIFA corruption scandal. In May of 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted the FIFA executives and officials on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. The Department of Justice’s indictment details over $150 million in bribes taken by the FIFA executives for providing advertisers with marketing rights. At the same time Switzerland was investigating FIFA and confirmed that the FIFA executives enriched each other with $80 million. The FIFA President Sepp Blatter was not charged, but he resigned a couple days after the indictment was leaked to the public. With the legal costs and loss of sponsors due to the scandal, FIFA reported net losses of $122.4 million in 2015, $368.8 million in 2016, and $191.5 million in 2017.
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nine-fifa-officials-and-five-corporate-executives-indicted-racketeering-conspiracy-and
https://www.wired.com/2015/05/fifa-scandal-explained/

smmacander

says:

The example of corporate mis-doing I chose happened in 2009 and concerned the Peanut Corporation of America. The CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America, Steward Parnell, was aware that the peanuts he was selling were contaminated with salmonella (a bacteria that attacks the intestines, and fairly commonly contaminates food) but sold them anyway. This resulted in over 700 people getting infected with salmonella from their products, and nine people dying and many peanut products having to be recalled. Parnell told consumers that the products were being tested and all tested negative for salmonella, but this wasn’t true. In reality, they weren’t testing most of the products and those that they did were retested until they got a negative test result. They even lied to and misled the officials from the Food and Drug Administration when they were investigating the company. Due to this fabrication and their failure to comply with regulations Parnell and his brother were investigated and sentenced to serve a significant amount of time in prison (20+ years). This case showed how profit motivation can lead to businesses making very unethical decisions and disregarding consumer safety. Fortunately, the Peanut Corporation of America no longer exists and its owners faced prison time for endangering their consumers. Due to this the leaders of corporations have seen that fabricating lab results and encouraging people to continue using their (knowingly) contaminated products can result in real consequences for those in charge.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-peanut-company-president-receives-largest-criminal-sentence-food-safety-case-two

cjandric

says:

The company i chose was Chipotle. Chipotle is a fast food restaurant with millions of stores in the US. In 2015, there was an E.coli outbreak that got linked with Chipotle. Investigators and prevention patrol calculated 55 people got the bacteria after eating Chipotle. This lasted until 2018 where they finally controlled the bacteria. In that time there was a 82% decrease in profits due to the outbreak!! Another stat, the stock market for Chipotle went down 15% as well. It doesn’t get any better than this as in the same year in 2015 a worker got caught with possession of cocaine. As social media does best, they blow up the incident and destroy Chipotles reputation even more. After that 10,000 workers sued the company because they were unpaid during “tough times”. This finally ended in 2018 when a total of 1,100 were sickened due to the outbreak. Chipotle had received many fines and was expecting court dates. A federal prosecutors says this is the largest fine ever to a restaurant of 25 million dollars to resolve criminal charges. To calm down the social media the Chipotle founder Steve Ellis presents a speech to the public saying “The procedures we’re putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat.” After this speech it boosted Chipotles stocks up 5% to start the building of the business name again. To conclude this matter Chipotle has agreed to work with a Food safety council that will monitor the employees and staff to mitigate any situations in the future.
https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2020/04/chipotle-agrees-to-pay-25-million-federal-fine-for-role-in-some-outbreaks/
https://brandfolder.com/blog/crisis-management

jmferreira

says:

For this week’s discussion I chose the Hollinger International Scandal involving Conrad Black. Mr. Black created Hollinger in the 1980’s. The company was created in the interest of the Daily Telegraph. After fifteen years of purchases, Hollinger was known as one of the largest media groups in the world, Mr. Black had a large amount of authority over the company’s money. In 2003, Mr. Black the company Board of Directors spoke up about over payments the company made to himself and four directors with the amount over 200 million dollars. After investigation by SEC, it was confirmed that these payments were valid and the proof that these transactions were done by Mr. Black. Conrad Black was charged with fraud, tax evasion and racketeering. There were 13 charges against him in which he was convicted of 4. He served 42 months out of 78 month terms.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2013/02/05/5-most-publicized-ethics-violations-by-ceos/#6b93e6aa4bbc

ajlynch

says:

(Submitted by Amanda Hanson)
In 2009, Bill Allen and Richard Smith, executive officers of the VECO Corporation were sentenced to jail time for bribery and extortion. Allen and Smith plead guilty to the charges and admitted to offering just shy of $400,000 to Alaskan law makers in exchange for their support on current oil and gas legislation. The state of Alaska was rocked by the accusations because long-time, respected Senator Ted Stevens was reported to have received benefits from the executives.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alaska-energy-corruption-trial/alaska-trial-hints-at-more-politics-oil-corruption-idUSN2538058420070925

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/bill-allen-and-richard-smith-former-officers-veco-corporation-sentenced-roles-alaska-public

Chief

says:

Boiler Room: In business, the term boiler room refers to an outbound call center selling questionable investments by telephone. It usually refers to a room where salespeople work using unfair, dishonest sales tactics, sometimes selling penny stocks, private placements or committing outright stock fraud.
Greetings Classmates for my Week 5 Discussion I chose the movie Wolf of Wall Street.
Wolf of Wall Street which is a 2013 film adaption based on the biography of Jordan “Jordy” Belfort’s career as a stockbroker in New York City. His firm, Stratton Oakmont, by practicing stock manipulation, engaging in rampant corruption, and fraud on Wall Street made Millions of dollars.
His company would make false and misleading claims in order to push under performing stocks to their investors in order to sell more stocks and to drive up the prices of shares in companies that Stratton Oakmont was already trading. When the prices of the shares have been driven up the company sell its shares and walk away with a huge profit.
In 1996 Jordan Belfort’s stock manipulation strategy eventually caught up with him and his company was forced to close, he was banned from the brokerage industry, he served 22 months in jail, and required to pay back $110 million to the investors.
If you google the term Boiler Room Trading you will find that even after Jordan Belfort’s case several other companies continued to practice of stock manipulation techniques as recently as 2014.

John Aldabe

says:

Ford Pinto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPqdRqacpFk
The link above is a video of an argument between a young Michael Moore (documentary film maker) and Milton Friedman (advocate of the narrow view(Shaw, 2017)) at Cornell University regarding the Ford Pinto and the manufactures decision to sell the car knowing that people were going to die due to a defect the company elected not to correct. Ford preformed a calculation comparing the cost of a $13 part per vehicle needed to fix the defect to the value of human life they estimated and with a projection of death count; the organization found it cost effective to let people die. Moore argues how can a company place such a low value on human life and allow the vehicle sales, knowing people would die while Friedman argues back that it is about the principle. The principal being ‘the bottom line’ is a narrow view which Friedman advocates that business has no social responsibilities other than to maximize profits (Shaw, 2017). It seems to me, Ford could have made a disclosure about the defect and provided an option for the correction; which would allow the consumer to either assume the risk, or invest in the corrective part could be a viable compromise to the situation. In the end, new laws were put in place to provide collision standards in which vehicles were required to meet and Ford paid out a meager $3.5 million in damages and were forced to recalled all the Pintos with the defect, significantly beating the total cost of $137.5 million it would have cost to fix the issue at conception of the vehicle. Let’s not forget the estimated 500 lives lost (Fords life vale estimate on this is $100 M, still under budget). Our text (Shaw, 2017) has a Case Study 2.2 The Ford Pinto where more details are reviled. Watching the video and reading the text jogged a childhood memory of our Pinto when we were parked at a car dealership searching for a replacement vehicle. Myself and two siblings were in the car rambunctiously waiting for mother to finish with the salesman when the automatic gear shifter was knocked into natural (another safety issue) and we went for a roll; fortunately the salesman was able to reach in and slam it into park before who knows what tragedy may have happened…
By, John Aldabe

says:

After reading the article, “In Defense of International Sweatshops” I have come to the conclusion that sweatshops are a vital part of life in some third world countries. Sweatshops are the highest paying job in places like Bangladesh for example, they provide jobs to people who are not above the type of work offered, and help to minimize the likelihood of crime or people falling into a scarier alternative for work or income. There are several arguments against sweatshops such as unhealthy or unsafe working conditions and the belief that workers are ultimately settling for less than they are worth. In the article, “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities” the data varies in suggesting types of violations workers experience when working among a sweatshop environment, which I found very insightful to the topic. A second article I read, “11 Facts About Sweatshops” was a great starting point to discovering several opposing views on sweatshops. The most interesting thing I was able to take away from reading further into this topic was that women make up 85 to 90% of sweatshop workers therefore, some employers force them to take birth control and routine pregnancy tests to avoid supporting maternity leave or providing appropriate health benefits. I do think that there are some instances where sweatshop workers are horribly taken advantage of. Although I also think that sweatshops are one of the leading occupations in some parts of the world and it is important to remember that not all places are as privileged as North America in the sense of regulations and maintaining laws to prevent these types of mistreatment. I think that if sweatshops are such a major concern to us here in North America, why are we not providing services or resources to these third world countries that could potentially help them become more evolved and more equipped to afford small breaks for their workers or something as simple as cleaning services or central air. Coming from a utilitarian perspective I would always like to do what is the best interest of a society or entire group of people as a whole, which may be viewed as a strength or a weakness in some cases.

Sources
“11 Facts About Sweatshops.” Do Something, date accessed October 13, 2019.

Bernhardt, Annette, Ruth Milkman, Nik Theodore et al. “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities.” National Employment Law Project, 2009, date Accessed October 13, 2019.

fsfornaasvensson

says:

Hello everyone,
I chose an example from Sweden which recently got onto the news and became a big headline all over Sweden. It was a fraud where the authority of retirement (Pensionsmyndigheten) gave approval to certain funds to be released and at the same time have a very low security where private persons could act like another person and move their money to themselves. This was a fraud on about 2.4 billions Swedish krona and possibly the biggest one in Sweden’s history.

This is a major mis-doing that lead to very bad consequences for a lot of consumers because of mistakes that the authorities where doing by making it able to log in double on your bank account and making it possible for frauds to happen. This is a good example of how mistakes can affect people so much in bad ways and that the security when it comes to money should be way higher so that situations like these don’t happen.

afamick2

says:

The major Japanese manufacturer Takata installed airbags in cars from 2002 to 2015. Takata’s ammonium nitrate-based propellant was used to inflate their airbags, but the company failed to use a desiccant— an essential chemical drying agent. This resulted in fatally explosive airbags that sent shrapnel into drivers’ faces and necks. In 2014, the New York Times published an article stating that Takata was aware of dangerous and life threatening defects in the airbags that they had been installing. Former employees claimed that secret tests had been conducted and the bad results had prompted engineers to prepare for recalls on the product. However, Takata managers downplayed the results and instructed employees to get rid of the testing data. After the New York Times article was released in 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called for a national level recall in what they described as “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. History.” As of March 2019, 16 people in the U.S. have been killed by Takata’s faulty airbags, more than 24 people have died worldwide, and there have been at least 300 injuries due to Takata’s negligence. Car manufacturers including Honda, Ford, Toyota, and Mazda are still continuing the recall of both driver and passenger side airbags today.

2014 New York Times Article (Former workers say Takata hid airbag risks)
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/business/airbag-maker-takata-is-said-to-have-conducted-secret-tests.html

2019 Consumer Reports Recall Article (Timeline and death count caused by faulty airbags)
https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know/

Abby Amick

bpkyes

says:

I am doing my discussion on the drug company Valent. I can’t post a link but if you have Netflix you can view this by searching Dirty Money and the episode is “Drug Short.” Valent lost 90% of its value, over 80 billion dollars because of immoral actions. In 2008 Valent was a drug company in CA worth around 2.1 million dollars. At the beginning of Valent’s corruption they merged with Biovail a Canadian company that would allow them to dodge taxes in the United States. This also put Mike Pearson in as CEO of the company. Pearson said that the most important thing was creating shareholder value, and that the shareholders shouldn’t worry about how they did that because it’s his job. When he entered as CEO the price of valent shares were $13.24 each; at its peak it hit $252.62. Valent began buying other drug companies (over 100 of them). The company became so profitable some of the biggest hedge funds in the world started investing in Valent. Valent’s goal was to consolidate the pharmaceutical industry. Pearson started telling everyone that he had a revolutionary strategy that was smarter than what everyone else in the pharmaceutical industry was doing. The problem was he was lying about he was doing. He was saying that they were selling much more of the drugs to people, when the truth was he would buy these companies and gut them except for the production of the drug, and raise the price hundreds of percents. Some people saw it coming because they saw signs of corruption; valent was not following GAAP standards of accounting. Most people however did not see this. Valent was actually losing patients, but because the prices were so high, they were actually making more money, because of this they weren’t just committing fraud against the shareholders but also the patients because they were price gouging.
Why I picked this company is because of how immoral it is, and it highlights why capitalism has failed (greed) and why we need a medicare for all program. This was only one of many companies doing this. A medicare for all program would allow the United States to negotiate it’s prices for each drug, and that is why all democratic socialist companies like everyone ahead of the US on the UN human development list do. In fact some other countries that Valent were selling drugs to did not allow them to raise the prices and rip off their citizens like the United States allowed. People who make others die because they are raising the price of the drug so high they can’t afford it should be charged with murder, if they are making more than a certain amount (determined by the government) of profit. We are now a civilized society, we are no longer animals that prey on things. With the amount of intelligence we have comes with responsibility and the first responsibility is to protect and help as many people as possible.

jayala14

says:

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire was one of the deadliest workplace incidents in the US. This catastrophe happened on March 25, 1911 and took the lives of 146 workers. Many young women were trapped inside of a building filled with bulky equipment, locked doors, and no fire safety prevention/ mitigation equipment. Even when the fire fighters made it out to the fiery building, their ladders were too short to reach the top floors. Many women leaped out of the building to their deaths instead of being burned alive.
The narrow paths and lack of water in a building with highly flammable materials was not only unacceptable, but was ultimately the cause for such a devastating loss. This incident was so horrific that it caused people to ultimately speak out which led to changes to safety regulation in the work place. Not only did they make changes to safety regulations but it made it so businesses had to enforce them.

https://www.history.com/news/triangle-shirtwaist-factory-fire-labor-safety-laws

kenyetta guy

says:

Hello class,
I wanted to get on here to do my discussion on the Facebook scandal that came out as the “Cambridge Analytical Data Scandal”, this data breach was the largest known leak in Facebook history. CEO Mark Zukerburg had to testify in front of congress. This breach spiked a new hasthtag on twitter #deletefacebook. During his testimony , researcher Aleksandr Kogan from Cambridge University had created a personality quiz app, which was installed by 300,000 people. The app was then able to retrieve Facebook information, including that of the users’ friends, and this was obtained by Kogan. It was not until 2015 that Zuckerberg learned that these users’ information was shared by Kogan with Cambridge Analytica. When Cambridge Analytica was asked to remove all the data; it was later discovered by The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 that the data had in fact not been deleted. Because of all of this, the price of Facebook stock fell 16%. It was said the data sold was aiding to Trumps Champaign in 2016.

Link
https://247wallst.com/special-report/2019/12/20/the-biggest-corporate-scandals-of-the-decade/4/

twmcclendon

says:

https://www.businessinsider.com/the-history-of-silicon-valley-unicorn-theranos-and-ceo-elizabeth-holmes-2018-5

Founded in 2003, Theranos was made to sold a dream, the dream being that blood tests for a range of diseases could be done faster than ever before and with an impossibly small sample of blood. The company quickly ballooned to a value of over $9 billion after the 19 year old founder Elizabeth Holmes began selling this dream. The tide turned against the company, however, as it failed to produce results and the science behind its claims were questioned. Elizabeth Holmes was indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy charges, and the company was liquidated to repay investors.

hllivengood

says:

In 2017 Lee Jae-Yong, the Vice Chairman of the Samsung corporation was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and hiding assets overseas. This scandal also involved the president at the time, Ms. Park Geun-hye. Associates of Ms. Park were found to have been given approximately $36 million dollars in bribes to turn a blind eye to corporate acquisitions, laws, and regulations that affected the conglomerate. As a result of the scandal, Mr. Lee was sentenced to 12-years in prison (2 of which he has served), and the former president Ms. Park was impeached. Bringing the scandal to light also exposed corporate policy and practices that were found to be unethical. Samsung will no longer be a family-run corporation, also known as a chaebol. It will also allow employees to form unions.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-41033568
https://www.ft.com/content/4ae70c6e-ca2f-11e9-a1f4-3669401ba76f
https://youtu.be/a7Z_NehTVG0
https://youtu.be/m_S01wHiDy8
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/business/samsung-lee-apology.html

ischnauder

says:

The incident I chose to cover is blackwater. Blackwater was a private military corporation contracted by the US government. The company has had both a positive and negative impact, but the negative impacts have sparked some change in operations of our country. Blackwater was contracted for security operations here in the US, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Due to multiple incidents of civilian casualties in Iraq the company came under heavy scrutiny. This scrutiny led to the eventual breaking of multiple defense contracts and eventually the end of blackwater as we knew it. The new company XE was then formed and the parent company Academi under new management and regulation. The main lesson of blackwater is we must regulate these contracts to ensure a distinction of private security from mercenary forces.

https://silentprofessionals.org/blackwater/

bjferris

says:

The case I chose was a Ponzi scheme and accounting scandal out of Germany. The company was called Flowtex, it was a company established by Klaus Kleiser and Manfred Schmider, that made machinery for horizontal drilling which at the time of its establishment, (mid 80s) was a huge break through in construction. The unethical practices that began were aided by a web of employees and friends of the founders to sell twice the amount of machines then they had. They would prop up fake construction sites and move one machine from site to site in order to catch investors and pass inspections while other machines were built to a lesser grade. Over a ten year span, their business secured loans of over 2 billion euros for under made and non existent machines. They were also able to collude with the state tax inspector assigned to them, who at the time, was a recreational partner of the founders. It is known as one of the most largest instances of prosecuted white collar crime in German history.

https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1718355.stm
https://www.dw.com/en/german-state-absolved-in-flowtex-case/a-1659823

mvezina

says:

The corporate scandal I chose to research is currently happening in Germany. Wirecard, a payments firm, was suddenly beginning to collapse on Friday because it was found that over 1.9 billion euros, equivalent to about $2.1 million U.S. dollars, is missing. This scandal has caused over an 80% plunge in the company’s stock. There have now been threats of lawsuits and investigations by prosecutors. The company’s chief executive has now stepped down. In 2016, the company was brought to the U.S. by acquiring Citibank’s prepaid card division. The company has now denied any wrongdoing.
For investors and shareholders, this is leading to large amounts of losses. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/business/wirecard-scandal.html

Mindy Wolfe

says:

This is one of my favorite cases of the mighty being held accountable and a win for the common man-
In 1998 a West Virginia family filed a lawsuit against a major corporation, Dupont, which sparked major controversy. Dupont’s power and reach as a major corporation delayed compensation and further harmed many people in West Virginia. Dupont knowingly concealed information from the world while dumping harmful chemicals into the ground causing poisonous runoff to pollute the land and water that was later ingested by animals and humans. To avoid monetary loss, corporate executives and supervisors concealed how harmful the chemicals at the West Virginia plant from the employees who were working in direct contact and exposed daily for long periods of time. Dupont and many of their known associates withheld important consumer information that their man made chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, used in Teflon which is known to cause several chronic diseases and cancers that lead to an earlier death, sterility, stillbirths, and caused many birth defects in children. The lawsuit case load swelled to 3,350 cases and eventually settled in 2017 for a total of $670 million though Dupont adamantly claims no wrongdoing. Since this product happened to be in numerous products used daily and sold worldwide, the total damage causally linked to Dupont will probably never be known however, the lawsuits and court orders for compensation continue currently. In March 2020, Dupont was ordered to pay $50 million to a couple for damages citing Dupont responsible for the plaintiff’s cancer. A movie was inspired by this scandal and was released in 2019 called, Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Victor Garber, and Bill Pullman. If you have not seen it, it is particularly good. It is reminiscent of the film from 2000, Erin Brockovich.

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/dupont-lawsuits-re-pfoa-pollution-in-usa
https://ohiovalleyresource.org/2017/02/13/dupont-offers-670m-settlement-teflon-chemical-contamination-water/

Ken

says:

CNN article about Firestone Tire Recall:
https://money.cnn.com/2000/08/09/news/firestone_recall/
Wikipedia article on the tire recall to provide more specific details on resulting legislation, dates, and sequence of events:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestone_and_Ford_tire_controversy

Around 1996 Several personal injury lawyers started noticing a pattern of injuries and fatalities surrounding Ford SUVs whos tires had failed to the point where the tread completely fell off the tire. Firestone tires had been supplying Ford Motor Company with tires for their cars trucks and a new line of SUVs for nearly 100 years. This sudden increase in accidents drew the attention of the State of Arizona, StateFarm Insurance Company, and some Ford Dealerships in locations that exhibited high temperatures. While the NTHSA didn’t launch an official investigation into the issue until March of 2000 it has been determined that internally Firestone had known about and was tracking their potential responsibility since as early as 1997 as Ford was replacing tires in Venezuela starting in 1998 after 43 deaths had occurred related to the failure of the tires. Per Clarence Ditlow in his statement before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation “Emerging Information shows that both Ford and Firestone had early knowledge of tread separation in Firestone Tires fitted to Ford Explorer vehicles but at no point informed NHTSA of their findings”

The investigation by the NTHSA’s investigation both Ford and Firestone produced Root Cause Analyses that effectively blamed the other party for the failures. Firestone insisted Ford’s SUV’s were inherently unstable and prone to rolling while Ford argued that the SUV did not have similar issues with other tire brands and that Firestone’s manufacturing defect was the root source of the issues. Finally by August of 2000 Firestone recalled all of the 6.5 million tires that had the potential defect. This event triggered enough motivation for Congress to pass the TREAD(Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) Act which is intended to increase consumer safety through mandates assigned to the NHTSA. Interestingly enough this was the second recall Firestone had to issue within a 12-year window. That recall nearly bankrupted the company and led to its acquisition by Japan’s Bridgestone Corp. While I have little insight to the governmental and legal climate surrounding that specific recall I would assert more stringent regulation in response to that specific recall Firestone would not likely have found itself in the position to obfuscate responsibility and data on a faulty product while people died.

Manuel Caguiat

says:

For this discussion week i decided to post comments about one of the largest accounting scandal in the U.S history. This one was involving the former CEO and the collaped of a large telecomunnication company named worldcom. Bernard Ebbers the former CEO and many other former executives of worldcom inflated the numbers to hide the decline and the stock losses including the $11 billion in accounting fraud from its stockholders. In 2005 he recieved a 25 year sentence in the federal court. During his time in prison the former CEO struggled with multiple health problems. His family continued to ask for his compassionate release from prison because of his health problems and eventually granted release December of 2019. Due to his health issues, Ebbers died just over a month after his release. He died in February 2, 2020.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/03/bernard-ebbers-ex-ceo-convicted-in-worldcom-scandal-dies.html

crsudkampwalker

says:

Before I knew about the limits of technology I found reading articles, watching videos, etc on new emerging technologies cool, interesting, and gave me hope for the future. However now that I have a significantly better understanding of manufacturing, thermodynamic limits, and current technology I can smell false promises a mile away. I have found that Elon Musk has made many of these promises and although his contribution to rocket and electric cars is astounding, most of his side projects are obviously impossible or impractical. A few that I can think of is the Hyperloop, The Loop (different project), his flying car, Earth to Earth transport, and what I’ll be focusing on Solar Roofs.

I chose Musk’s Solar roof since it had the most impact on consumers and just about everything he says in this video is impossible to deliver. Musk says that the goals of this roof are for it to be cheaper, look better, last longer, and provide better insulation than a conventional roof.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMrantzEYC8

So cheaper maybe a roof like this would cost less in materials namely steel compared to a solar mount system, however I seriously doubt this since the most expensive part is the solar cells and making them durable enough would have added costs. A serious flaw is that the efficiency would be sacrificed since these cells are dependent on the angle of the roof. Installation would almost certainly be more expensive since more individual cells are required to coat the roof and have to be wired independently on the roof. Compared with a typical solar panel about 1 meter by .5 meters and have the cells pre installed at the factory.
Current Model costs for a solar roof
https://electrek.co/2019/10/25/tesla-solarglass-solar-roof-v3-price/ $34000 after “incentives”
https://www.8msolar.com/cost-of-solar-panel-installation $24500 $18000 after FTC

The cells themselves are not more durable than a typical roof since roof tiles are made of sheet rock they can be scratched without ill effects compared with solar tiles that lose efficiency as the surface is worn. A video is shown in the video showing a test conveniently not describing the full results. Are solar the tiles better at taking an impact than other tiles maybe however most of the erosion on tiles is from acidic rain water, dust, uv radiation, and moss. Not from impacts. Another issue to deal with is the soot from chimneys normally this isn’t a problem for regular tiles, but for solar tiles a layer of soot will dramatically decrease power production. As shown in the product from the website no insulation exists on the panels. And even if Musk could make insulation cheaper on a solar panel than just plain insulation it’s still a poor idea. Electrical resistance increases with temperature. By having these panels flush with the roof less air can passively cool the panels, reducing lifetime, efficiency and power production. As for the Aesthetics these are subjective and personally I think making a solar installation look more “normal” isn’t the same as making it look better. Ultimately Musk solar roofs are not better than a regular roof for the costs and should be considered a luxury item not a technologically one.

Ryan McCrossin

says:

Source: Avast. (2019, May 2). 83% of Americans are Using Weak Passwords. Retrieved from https://press.avast.com/83-of-americans-are-using-weak-passwords

Kan, M. (2018, April 06). T-Mobile Austria Is OK With Storing Passwords Partly in Clear Text. Retrieved from https://www.pcmag.com/news/t-mobile-austria-is-ok-with-storing-passwords-partly-in-clear-text

T-Mobile Austria in 2018 (Kan) revealed on Twitter that when customer service agents are speaking to their customers and pull up their accounts, the first four letters are displayed in clear-colored text (you can highlight the space where the letters are contained to reveal them). Considering the fact that 83% of Americans fail to maintain passwords that are “at least 10 characters long, and include numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters” (Avast, 2019), this is bad. If we go based on the possible combinations of a 10 letter password, this reduces it from 2.5 x 10 ^ 17 down to 2.7 x 10 ^ 10. This is 250 quadrillion possible combinations removed. And this is best possible scenario if someone doesn’t use a simple word like “password” or “anchorage”. It’s very easy to breach the system and find the passwords if up to half (the minimum letters required is 8) is revealed.

Three days after the article was published, the T-Mobile Austria twitter account announced they would stop doing this to make their customers more secured. They would instead hash and salt the passwords (encrypting them by inputting it in a “decoder” with no solution other than brute force). While there have been no other reports regarding a company doing anything similar, perhaps there were corporations that have improved their security regarding customers by hanging how information is displayed.

Maria Heskett

says:

On May 11, 1996; a DC-9 operated by Value Jet crashed into the Florida Everglades. All 110 souls on board perished, as a result of cost-cutting measures, implemented by the operator, Valuejet. The structure of an airline is supposed to be self regulating, with its own “Checks and Balances”. This is achieved on the mechanical side by a Chief Inspector, who is employed by the company but is the companies whistleblower. The 2nd element to safety oversight, is the Check Airmen that are employed as Captains. These Captains report abuse of pilots and ground crews, to corporate and FAA officials. In Valuejets case, these positions were crying out to the FAA requesting an investigation. The crash that occurred was as the result of “Full O^2 generators-without required caps” that caused a fire in the cargo hold. These hazardous materials, are normally stowed on-board empty ferry flights-never on a flight with passengers. Reckless activity existed prior, with the excessive flights on airframes and powerplants, that had leaking hydraulics and other inoperable equipment that is on what is called “Minimum Equipment List”. The MEL, is a requirement for every aircraft but stricter for commercial carriers. If an aircraft has inoperable equipment that is listed on the MEL, the aircraft does NOT move; until repaired. After the Crash of Flight 592 in 1997, the company could not recover and merged with Air Tran. (Which is still in business today) Wanted to post this, so my classmates would shop a little more informed.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1998/03/the-lessons-of-valujet-592/306534/

Jessica Egbejimba

says:

It was recorded in 2000 that of the world’s 100 biggest economic entities, 51 were companies and 49 were nations. This pattern has persisted, and 40 to 50 of the 100 biggest economic organizations in the world have been companies over the last decade, with the others being national economies. Today, corporations’ global position rivals that of national or local governments and many of these large companies speak about having a social mission and set of values, or how much they care about their workers and other stakeholders. But to what degree are these companies responsible for ensuring that the interests of workers are respected?
Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers that manufactured the touchscreens for the Apple iPhone, started using n-hexane at its East China LCD plant in early 2009 to increase development after receiving a large order. While n-hexane acts as a better cleaning agent than alcohol, evaporating faster after use, it is also a narcotic that affects the nervous system of those who are exposed. The staff has recently started experiencing headaches and dizziness, gradually showing symptoms of serious nerve damage where many have been hospitalized at last. Doctors identified the cause of the nerve damage as the n-hexane that was used to clean the touch screens.
The Wintek event is unfortunately just one of many incidents involving the mistreatment of staff at just one of the production plants that Apple supplies from. Apple is the world’s largest technology company, with the highest brand awareness, making a profit of one billion USD a week. Legally, Apple is not explicitly liable (under U.S. or Chinese law) for the conditions that occur at the location of a manufacturer. Apple and its backers are right in saying they are not liable in the strictest legal context. However, just because Apple isn’t “legally responsible” doesn’t mean they aren’t ethically obligated to fix these issues. Apple has known for several years that these problems exist within its supply chain and did not act strongly enough given the severity of these complications.

Grayson, David, and Nelson Jane. Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: the Past, Present, and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism. Routledge, 2017.

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