1/ Which of the features presented in the chapter “Relationship with consumers” (chapter 8) of the requested book are present in the film in question?
In Class action, the story takes place in America, in San Francisco. Two law firms confront one another about a conflict between a simple citizen (a consumer) against a car firm called Argo (a merchant). The consumer accusesthe company of being responsible of the failure and defaults of the car. In this part of the case study, there will be the relationship between specific points of Brian L Nelson, the relation between sellers and buyers, and the movie. The first part will define the contract, which means the framework. Then it will show the different aspects of the disclosure obligations like the formal aspect,the moral aspect, the way Argo could have defend their case and the economic aspect (also known as the “counter-beans”)…
The first and main part of the film is the type of contract between both parts. The category of contract establishes and defines which laws and rules are applicable in the legal and juridical procedure. In this case, it is a contract of will, which means that the first part, thebuyer, is free to choose what product he wants to buy and the contract results of his will to purchase one of the products on sale. In other words, it is a consumer transaction (“merchant-to-consumer sale of goods and services”).
From this type of contract, follows an important rule created by governments in order to protect the general market of consumers. The disclosure obligation has beencreated to protect the consumers against the former commercial law, which are inadequate to prevent personal interests of the consumers. The disclosure obligation is also known as “The right to know”. In Class action, the Argo company should have specified in the sale report (accessible to consumers) that the car will explode if the left-blinker is switched-on and in the same time, the car is struckstrong enough to induce a short-circuit in the Meridian. If they had specified this issue to the consumers, they would have respected “the right to know”, and would have been protected against any lawsuit.
Of course, Argo lied in order to sell the product, and that is the second part of the disclosure condition issue: the moral context. As Brian L Nelson suggests: “If one person lies to anotherperson in connection with a choice to be made by that other person, then the person telling the lie effectively denies that other person his freedom of choice”. This is a moral issue, that moral philosopher had deal with. They agreed that persons or entities holding secret information are morally responsible of their decisions and the repercussions that follow. In Class action, Argo chose not todisclose the “integrated circuit problem”, and that is why they are morally condemned by the common ethic.
However, in the movie, Argo did not deliberately lie in the selling process. At least, we are not aware of this fact. In the film, they just keep the information as a secret. According to Nelson, companies are allowed to keep information they think unworthy to disclose. In this case, sellersare not legally liable for holding such secrets under general principles of contract and commercial law. That is why Argo could have tried to defend his case by telling they kept the information as a secret because it was irrelevant to go public for this. If we consider the risks for this action to happen, it may be justifiable. But the rules in merchant-to-consumers transaction protect the buyersfor such threatening information.
2/ Focusing on health and safety law, what are the relevant sources of health and safety law applicable to the describe situation, according to US law? What would be the legal situation of the company if we apply this law to the facts presented in the film?
The Health and Safety Law, especially in the United States, was created in order to protect the general...