Business Tort Liability

Business Tort Liability

LAW 531

University of Phoenix

Business Tort Liability

Over the past two decades, the number of injury cases against the pharmaceutical industry has increased because of business tort liabilities placed on drug manufacture (Office of Technology Assessment, 2017). Torts are defined as a wrongdoing that results in the injury of another and is divided into three categories. The classes of torts are intentional, unintentional/negligence, and strict liability (Cheeseman, 2016). The pharmaceutical industry has been impacted under all three categories and has taken a burden on them financially.

The Impact of Tort Liability

Nowadays, it is hard to turn on the television without seeing a commercial or ad from a lawyer asking for anyone who has been seriously injured by specific medication to call them about class action lawsuits. Such ads have seemingly increased throughout the years, and a lot of the medications have been common medications taken by many people. Such litigation has a significant and somber impact on the pharmaceutical industry.

One of the fastest growing and greatest frugally great submissions of tort law is product liability (Morrison Foerster, 2017). Product liability is the most exposed class of lawsuits in the United States and Europe. It is also a form of strict liability that deals directly with manufactured goods that cause harm (Cheeseman, 2016). The burden product liability on the pharmaceutical industry seems to be significantly disproportionate compared to other manufacturing companies. These companies are producing medications that people need and have serious side effects (Morrison Foerster, 2017) Some of the medications have caused strokes, heart attacks, and death. Product liability impacts the pharmaceutical industry because these suits can block research and development. Most of the tort liabilities happen after the products have reached the market resulting in unintentional torts. Some of the litigation suits have stemmed from intentional torts because companies placed products on the market knowing the dangers.

The Growth of Business Tort Liability:

With the access of technology and numerous commercials on television, the growth of business tort liability is increasing. The growth of such access provides outlets to the injured that may have never known their options before. The exposure to this information brings forth injured people who may not have known that they were experiencing symptoms related to the medications they were taking. There is a wide-ranging recognition that the pharmaceutical business is the casualty of an across the country suit blast. The pharmaceutical industry is the leading for government risk suits, which isn’t uprising when considering consumer usage. These risks leave the industry very vulnerable and helpless against fraudulent claims and prosecution of negligence. For example, Prozac is a drug used to treat depression is a recent class action lawsuit that was pulled off the market after causing serious injury to its users; including death (Zhang, 2014).

As per Wildlife, the parts that have the possible for development in following ranges incorporate “tissue designing, micro electrical, mechanical frameworks, biomaterials, quality or protein conveyance, focused on medication, sedate gadget blends, or high-throughput innovations.” These are energizing zones for development that may confront expanded danger of risk.

Need for Reform:

Torts are activities that harm somebody or are seeming by law as a practical reason for litigation. Part of the structure for business tort liability is to deflect individuals from harming others. A critical class of torts identified with expert carelessness is restorative misbehavior. One of the most common risks of torts in the pharmaceutical industry is specialist performing expensive tests or strategies to prevent negligence liability claims. This is known as guarded medicine and becomes costly for both consumers and Specialists (Harvard Business School, 2016). Carrying the weight of having to help a patient overcome an illness while worrying about potential side effects can be a significant burden. Tort reform is needed to help prevent professionals from performing unnecessary testing or procedure that are expensive, help control costs, and to prevent fraud (Harvard Business School, 2016).

Corporate Liability Under Alien Tort Statute:

The Alien Tort Statute is an old, but temperately obscure law; commonly referred to as the Alien Tort Claims Act. This statute is a capable maneuver, as it allows foreign injured parties to sue companies in the United States courts for universal laws breached in other countries. The ATS has developed into the last alternative for casualties looking for common cures.

Thus, the ATS is quickly growing as a hazard for multi-national enterprises. Imperial Dutch Petroleum-the latest case including the ATS or the second instance to achieve the Supreme Court of the United States represents an open door for outside offended parties to get a lawful triumph against corporate America.

The Talisman Court laid the preparation for the acknowledgment of ATS corporate liability for the Kiobel offer when it held that all together for a court to discover an organization at risk of supporting or abetting under the global law, the respondent must meet the essential men requiring the defendant to act with reason. Other circuits, including the Ninth Circuit or the Eleventh Circuit both mainstream settings for corporate ATS, claims straightforwardly couldn’t help contradicting. The Talisman managing, however, agreed with the possibility that courts can discover supporting or abetting risk under the universal law where the litigants know that their lead will encourage a mischief without a showing of reason or goal (Koebele, 2009).

Reduction of Business Tort Liability Through Risk Management:

To an expanding degree, issues of risk management or tort liability are getting to be distinctly real determinants of arranging, designing, or execution programs for bicyclists also, people on foot. Organization concerns about potential risk can either prompt to the development or generously enhanced offices. Without a thoroughly thought out or actualized risk management program, the courts turn into the strategy producers. The issue of risk management is turning into a noteworthy consider choices about the execution of capital ventures or projects. The high expenses related to risk management have, now or again, implied that things just don’t get manufactured or programs don’t get supported. Leaders are getting firearm modest. Disregarding the issue, nonetheless, won’t make it go away.

Escalation of Criminal Liability:

Criminal activity has been prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry; leading to very large payout to customers. To avoid litigation or having to pay out money; companies within this industry have hidden serious problems with drugs. To hide the serious problems with drugs, companies with the pharmaceutical industry have provided false claims, illegal marketing, and have covered up their findings. These criminal activities have caused these companies to be charged with obstruction of justice as well. Obstruction of justice occurs when employees are told to destroy paperwork; that is needed for civil suits or to prevent them from more serious litigation (Mercola, 2017). The prevalence of tort liabilities and civil suits have also led to an increase in consumer fraud. The progression of corporate wrongdoings is very serious and several corporations have not controlled their volume. They are not willing to incorporate the idea of corporate illegal risk into their business. One of the primary reasons that companies may not want to incorporate this is plan is due to costs. But in the long run, it can potentially help reduce tort liabilities and regain consumer trust.


Cheeseman, Henry (2016). Legal Environment of Business: Online Commerce, Business Ethics, and Global Issues (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Harvard Business School. (2016). Tort Reform and Innovation. Retrieved from

Koebele, M. (2009). Corporate Responsibility Under the Alien Tort Statute. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Mercola. (2017). Caution: The “Best Route” to Good Health is Causing 106,000 Deaths/Year. Retrieved from

Morrison Foerster. (2017). Pharmaceutical Product Liability. Retrieved from

Office of Technology Assessment. (2017). Product Liability and the Pharmaceutical Industry. (1993, February). Pharmaceutical R&D: Costs, Risks, and Rewards, (OTA-H-522). Retrieved from

The Columbia. (2017). Current Trends in Tort Reform and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers’ Liability: Michigan’s Combination Product Exception. Retrieved from