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Ford Pinto Case - Essay Example

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In its most basic practical application, ethics demands that one’s actions should be pursued in accordance with good faith, and good faith requires that the agent has no knowledge that his acts would perform a harm or injustice…
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Ford Pinto Case
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Ford Pinto Case

Download file to see previous pages... This line of thinking is supported by the first principle in Rawls’ theory of justice: that each person is entitled to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties (Oyeshile, 2008, p. 65). Among our human liberties, nothing is more basic than the liberty to be secure in one’s right to life and well-being. The intentional deprivation of one’s life and health becomes an unethical act and works against the theory of justice of Rawlsianism.
Furthermore, in weighing the theoretical costs to benefits, Ford transgressed the principle of Mill’s utilitarianism which defines value as not merely that which pertains to quantity (pursuant to Bentham’s hedonism), but that which takes into account the quality, or the good making properties which determine value (West, 2006, p. 120). In short, the net benefit in dollars and cents cannot offset the threat to human life and health that their design posed.
■Is American industry at too much risks for lawsuits to remain competitive? Should lawsuits such as the one against Ford be disallowed or limited? Why or why not? Should we try to restrain, in this and other product liability situations, the litigiousness that seems to characterize American life? How might we do this?
There are some lawsuits built on superficial claims of product liability, simply because they negate the role played by customer negligence. In the case of the Ford Pinto, however, the customer has a real and valid actionable claim against Ford. The sale of a product is inclusive of warranties against product defects, and in the Pinto case, an exploding gas tank is a huge defect. Furthermore, seen from the Rawlsian difference principle, social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged. In this case, individual customers are the much ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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