CASES

Business

The facts show that the plaintiff bought a hybrid automobile in 2004. The EPA estimated city and highway driving for the vehicle. The Plaintiff tried to return the car because it did not meet the estimated amounts. The court held or found that the federal law requiring the display of (EPA) fuel economy standards on new cars did not preempt state consumer protection laws. The plaintiff asked the court to reverse its finding that federal law preempted or disallowed his claim against the automaker for deceptive advertising. He argued that the federal law on preemption did not prevent the states from regulating advertising on vehicles. In essence the argument submitted by the plaintiff was that the federal law did not preempt the state. The court majority found that only the manufacturer would not have to do anything different in its disclosure of estimates.

A review of the case reveals that the non-majority justices or dissenter's found the plaintiff's complaint was seeking to force the auto manufacturer to change its fuel disclosures in a manner different than the regulating body. The facts and record as a whole indicate that there is ample evidence that the judgment rendered against the plaintiff was not erroneous but correct. The federal law that requires displaying mileage estimates preempts the state law that imposes a requirement of displaying of different standards. The cause of action relied heavily on the statements in the defendant's brochure that were alleged to violate state consumer protection laws. The dissenter's found the federal law as exhibited a federal presence in the measurement and disclosure of automobile fuel economy estimates and in advertising fuel economy.

The facts in the instant problem show that an adverse finding could result in affecting the large number of defendant's vehicles in the stream of commerce and to other manufacturer's products. This could lead to settlement monies being paid to many consumers. Paying out settlement monies would have an effect on the bottom line and profit margins. It is a well-recognized business ethics principle that to assert a position in litigation mainly out of a concern for profit constitutes an ethical violation. The ethical aspiration requires any such action to be taken out of a belief in the truth or "rightness" of the position. Commercial entities and businesses have numerous stakeholders and owe duties to many. Examples of expectations are as follows: shareholders are owed returns, employees are owed pay for their work, and communities are owed growing economies. Retained earnings or profits are necessary to meet these duties. Ethical business decision-making requires truth and honesty in all proffered legal arguments.

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