BUGusa Inc. is based in any state USA. The company provides critical software technology that allows eaves dropping, sound collection and more to law enforcement agencies throughout the states and federal government within the United States of America. BUGusa Inc. is looking to expand its services, expertise and software at an international level. In the course of their operations there have been some questionable behaviors concerning internal and external factors that are affecting the flow of operations and in some cases, this behavior may cause serious issues with the integrity of the software and its security. WIRETIME Inc. is a fairly new company competing against BUGusa Inc. That seeks to gain information on BUGusa Inc. by infiltrating its workforce and recruiting its best and brightest. Throughout this paper I will address some of those case scenarios and do my best to answer the questions set forth by the assignment.
1st Scenario: Has WIRETIME Inc. committed any torts?
BUGusa Inc. vs. WIRETIME Inc.
In this case scenario we find that WIRETIME Inc. has made an intentional negative public statement against BUGusa Inc, and more specifically against its product reliability. This behavior by WIRETIME Inc. can be seen as a gross move against BUGusa Inc. reputation, thus causing distrust in their products and services from the general public, state and federal agencies home and abroad. The behavior demonstrated by WIRETIME Inc. while not uncommon in the business world, can be seen as a defamation or libel tort, and this can give BUGusa Inc. leverage against WIRETIME Inc. in a lawsuit.
BUGusa Inc. may sue for any marketing related costs it will incur to help its image rise to new and higher levels of trust within its current customers and future customers nationally and internationally; it wouldn’t be a surprise if they also try to collect from possible damages it may have incurred from actual or potential loss of profit stemming from the ad circulated by WIRETIME Inc. and the distrust it may have already or potentially cause in the future against BUGusa Inc. WIRETIME Inc. could make the argument that its intention was not to harm BUGusa Inc. reputation because their statements were opinion based and not objective facts. In order to rebuttal the argument by WIRETIME Inc., and to build new trust, BUGusa Inc. could demonstrate that its products and services work well beyond the one-month capabilities that WIRETIME Inc. suggested on its supposedly opinion ad. By demonstrating that their software and services work beyond the one- month mark, they can surely hold their ground against their competitor and possibly create new business and stronger relationships with its consumers, and, at the same time win the lawsuit against WIRETIME Inc.
2nd Scenario: Has WIRETIME Inc. committed any torts?
Janet, head of the R&D department at BUGusa Inc. has two more years in her contract with her current company. She has been offered a much lucrative opportunity to work for the competition (WIRETIME Inc.) But there is a provision in her current contract that prohibits her to work for the competition for the following two years of her contract even if she was fired before that time expires. This is called the non – compete clause. Janet disclosed this information (non – compete clause) to the head of human resources at WIRETIME Inc. when he or she offered Janet employment with their company. You would think that this information would deter any further headhunting approach from WIRETIME Inc. because of the consequences Janet’s breach of duty to BUGusa Inc. may cause her if she accepts and the liability WIRETIME Inc. picks up by performing this intervening event against the non – compete clause BUGusa Inc. has on Janet’s contract.
After Janet exposed the non – compete clause, the head of human resources at WIRETIME Inc. persisted and offered to increase her pay by 10% and added a $5,000.00 signing bonus to the deal. Janet had a duty to BUGusa Inc. and she committed a breach of contract by accepting the offer from the competing company by evidence of acceptance. There was an offer, acceptance, consideration, consent, capacity, legal purpose, and writing. While it was illegal to work for the competitor, it was not illegal for her to resign from BUGusa Inc. WIRETIME, clearly intended to have Janet violate her legal agreement and contractual restriction with BUGusa Inc. and committed the tort of interference in a contractual relationship between Janet and BUGusa Inc.
3rd Scenario: WIRETIME Inc. (Steve & Walter)
Discuss BUGusa Inc. Liability for Walters’s actions.
WIRETIME Inc. has made it its main mission to infiltrate its competitor and retrieve high value information from BUGusa Inc. by all means necessary. WIRETIME Inc. sends one of its employees, (STEVE) to apply for a position at BUGusa. Such is their luck that Steve, not only gets hired, but he secures a position within BUGusa Inc. research and development department. BUGusa Inc. failed to realize that Steve was an employee at WIRETIME Inc. thus placing the companies’ sensitive information at risk. While at BUGusa, Steve was picked up by an attentive security guard (Walter) who found out through the grapevine and investigation, that Steve was a spy amongst them working for the competitor.
Walter decided to approach Steve and take him in to a soundproof room, and retrieve the truth from Steve through intimidating threats against his physical safety for six hours. Steve, of course fearing for his physical well being, disclosed his purpose in the company what information he has passed along and whom he truly worked for. While Walters’s frustration with Steve is understandable, his handling of the situation is totally unacceptable and carries some penalties with it. Walter created an atmosphere of stress, mentally and physically against an employee, regardless of his true intentions; BUGusa Inc. should of done its homework through background checks against Steve and probably saved itself the headache. Nevertheless, Walters’s behavior was thuggish and criminal thus creating the tort of assault. Walter could have held Steve and called the police, then followed through with charges against Steve and WIRETIME Inc. but his course of action may result in Steve going after BUGusa Inc through vicarious liability. This liability holds BUGusa Inc. as responsible for Walters’s behavior and actions while performing his normal duties in the workplace.
4th Scenario: Parking lot of BUGusa Inc. Crime problem.
What defense if any, may be available to BUGusa Inc.?
As with all working environments, it is the legal and implied duty of any employer to provide a healthy and safe work environment for its employees, vendors and any other patrons visiting or performing work at any job site within the United States of America. Here we can see that this particular BUGusa Inc. branch that is located in Shady town USA, has been the victim of multiple attacks on its employees and its vendors and also fell pray to vandalism. This problematic issue is well known to the residents of the community where BUGusa has its building; this leads me to know that management at BUGusa Inc. must have also been aware of this problem and failed to address it properly. I do not see any available defense for BUGusa Inc. on the matter of the vendor being attacked and robbed while waiting to deliver goods at the facility mentioned above. BUGusa has a duty to its employees, vendors and any patron performing any job within its premises to provide adequate safety measures that will deter thief’s from braking in to cars and vandalizing company property, but most importantly from harming the people within its property at all times.
Having a well lit parking lot means all lights are working properly and to their full capacity, and in this case, they had a few lights that were not operating at all. Also, well-lit areas are not enough security against a hostile environment that has in the past proven to be dangerous against employees and vendors. The company breached its duty by not upgrading its security measures after the first reported assaults against its employees, this negligence caused that the vendor become another victim of the crime wave affecting its private property. The injury to the employees and vendor are financial, mental and may well be physical if not yet. The tort that applies here is negligence on the part of BUGusa Inc. If they would have reevaluated their security stance against the rise in crime and violence on their property and its surrounding community, it could have avoided such negligence.
5th Scenario: Randy and Brian (BUGusa Inc.)
What defense may be available to BUGusa Inc.?
The following Scenario holds two parties as responsible for failing to perform their required duties as responsible citizens and employees. By both parties being negligent, they are both are potentially at fault; they violated personal and business duty, breached their duties to their safety and business safety, causing an accident and damages to private and business property not to mention the physical injuries if any, and obvious financial injuries to personal and business property. Both Randy and Brian were negligent in their actions, Brian, as an employee of BUGusa Inc. could have avoided the crash if he were following the speed limit or driving in accordance with road and area conditions. Randy failed to obey the yield sign and assumed the risk of being impacted by another vehicle. Here we can apply comparative or contributory negligence because they were both at fault, if BUGusa Inc. can prove that Randy had more to do with the cause of the accident then they may well win the case.
6th Scenario: Sally may have a successful case against BUGusa Inc. for what Tort?
Just as in the actual case of General Motors, BUGusa Inc. failed to notify the consumers of the potential hazards of using their products. BUGusa tried to save money at the risk of consumer’s safety by taking shortcuts in the manufacturing and assembly process, knowing that such shortcuts may result in short circuit and in some cases harm to its product users they moved forward with its sale and fielding. Strict Product Liability Tort states that the manufacturer, distributor and seller are responsible for any harm and or injury caused by failure to inform of manufacturing defects or design defects. By designing the product without the necessary insulation, Sally was exposed to a short and suffered injuries. BUGusa Inc. is clearly in hot water and can be liable for all harm and injuries stemming from this negligent act.
Cornell University. (2014). Tort. Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/tort Expert Law. (2014). Negligence /
Personal Injury. Retrieved from http://www.expertlaw.com/library/personal_injury/negligence.html Hill, M. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business. A Managerial Approach: Theory to Practice. Phoenix, AZ: Copyright © McGraw-Hill Company.