Thursday, September 22, 2016

Companies' Fatal Failures to Warn of Product Dangers

The national press is reporting that after discovering a dozen serious infections in European hospitals resulting from the use of their medical scopes, Olympus Corp. notified European Hospitals of the risk.  At the same time, the company ordered its American executives NOT to warn American hospitals. Allegedly, thirty-five U.S. patients died after the European warnings and while American hospitals remained in the dark about the infection risk.

This same scenario seems to play out again and again - from exploding Ford Pintos to suddenly accelerating Toyotas to stalling Chevy Cobalts - and precious human lives were lost. Ultimately, the businesses suffered devastating fines, reputational damage and hyperinflated expense. Are executives always motivated to cash out on short term bonuses leaving subsequent executives to pick up the pieces?  Is there anything we can do in education America's future executives to break the pattern?

Conn. Senator Blumenthal touts his actions against GM's deceit:

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