Monday, March 29, 2004

Lawsuit Limits

What makes a corporation a responsible social entity? My opinion is that it starts with how the treat their employees - all of their employees, and not just the top level of management. The next is how they treat their customers. Are they people they provide goods to real flesh-and-blood folks, or are they numbers in a cost-benefit analysis?

Can we get an idea of a corporate philosophy of a company by how much they talk about civil lawsuits and how they would like to see tort reform efforts take place? Maybe.

I'm not a big fan of limiting lawsuits and trying to keep consumers from trying to have a day in court. A civil justice system is supposed to set the standards for our society, and if the average ordinary citizen doesn't like the results of the cost-benefits analysis that many large corporations follow when assessing risk, then they should bring a suit.

This article looks at why the corporate complaints are getting listened to a little more than in past years: Robin Hood is alive in court, say those seeking lawsuit limits

There are businesses who care about their employees and happy customers.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that Costco shareholders might be getting harmed because the company treats employees and customers so well. I think that is a myopic view, especially considering the much lower turnover rate of employees at Costco. And happier customers.

I was visiting with my parents last weekend, and they actually mentioned Costco a couple of times, and how much their like their food, and the way they prepared some of their items at the store. When ordinary consumers start conversations talking about how much they like a store, the store must be doing something right.