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When one party damages another party, in a non-criminal context, the aggrieved party is entitled to restitution. This is one of the most important concepts of tort law. In other words, making a party legally responsible for damages is the main purpose of tort law. A judge or jury will attempt to determine exactly what needs to be done when an aggrieved party can demonstrate damages, and what those damages should be in order to return the aggrieved party to the state that they were in prior to the alleged action. Of course, no one can go back in time and change what happened; therefore, damages are always paid in the form of money.
One reason why torts are important in a business context is that virtually all commercial enterprises deal with the public by providing products, services, or other commercially relevant activity. Unfortunately, consumers often suffer harm due to unintentional (or, rarely, intentional) damages caused by faulty products or negligent services.
Criminal penalties cannot be attached to business entities. If a crime is committed, the government charges speciﬁc individuals within the corporation who may be responsible, not the business entity. Yet, society recognizes that businesses, out of negligence, ignorance, or malfeasance, may cause injury to another party. Tort law imposes standards by which such injured parties can seek recompense from the corporation in civil court. Whereas an entire corporate entity cannot be tried in a criminal court, it can be a defendant in a civil court. Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between tort law and criminal law. Criminal penalties could be applied to individuals if there is evidence of an illegal motive or criminal negligence. Torts, on the other hand, typically involve negligence, which is a breach of a duty of care.
Tort law is based on the notion that if one party harms another intentionally or by being careless or reckless (“negligent”), then the aggrieved party may be entitled to restitution and be made “whole.” In some cases, there is strict liability, as in cases of defective products. If a product is found to be inherently unsafe or defective, strict liability is imposed; “strict” means that neither intent nor negligence needs to be proven.
Sometimes, a tort may also be a crime, as in the case of assault. Such a case can be brought both civilly and criminally. Here, we are only concerned with civil court cases. The court (using a judge or jury as fact-finder) will attempt to determine what damages are appropriate where a tort has been committed.
A court will attempt to determine exactly what needs to be done when an aggrieved party can demonstrate damages, and what those damages should be, in order to return a party to its state prior to the alleged action. This remedy is almost always money because, in reality, no one can go back and undo the wrongful action.
The first step in preparing your case law analysis is to locate a published court decision and select an organization you believe would be impacted by the decision.
The Case Analysis Report: Executive Briefing Exemplar [DOCX] shows a sample case law analysis. You may wish to refer to it as you work on your assessment.
Once you have selected a decision and an organization impacted by the decision, assume you’re a senior manager in the organization you selected and that you were asked to prepare an analysis of the court decision and brief the executive team of the organization about the impact the case might have on the company. Your briefing should include a summary of the case, as well as an evaluation of how the court’s decision impacts the organization from a business, legal, and ethical perspective. Be sure to list your case citation in the References page at the end of your briefing.
Step 1: Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law.
Step 2: Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case and its impact on businesses.
Step 3: Explain how the court decision impacts legal and ethical compliance in a business environment.
Step 4: Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization not a party to the case.
Based on your executive audience, your executive briefing should be no more than three pages, in addition to a References page, and should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing content to sources that support your analysis and conclusions.
Your submission should meet the following requirements:
Review the assessment scoring guide for details on how your assessment will be graded.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
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