Japanese Foreign Investment code advocates for utmost protection of its citizens and natural land from pollution and defectiveness from any foreign investment in their country. The law imposes strict liability to the manufacturing firms whenever the firms products cause any harm to the people. The law therefore saves the injured party the burden of proof. There is no specific test of proof applied to ascertain the causation of the plaintiffs injury from the manufacturing firms products. In fact, to some extent, the liability of proof lies upon the manufacturing firm. It is the duty of the firm to defend itself by proving that its products didnt cause the harm to the plaintiff. The subsidiary firm will therefore have to be extra-watchful and observant of their products. However, in a case where it is not possible to ascertain that the subsidiary manufacturing firm is the cause of the harm to the citizens, probably due to many manufacturing firms which are also likely to cause similar injuries, no kind of market share liability applies. The firm responsible for the injuries through defective emissions or defective products must be specifically identified for one to make such claims. The Japanese product liability law does not highlight any specific classifications of product defect though the law generally mentions design defects and manufacturing defects as being part of the unlawful defectiveness (Ottley, 1984, p29)
Failure to give appropriate instructions and warnings by the manufacturing firm on the possible defective firms emissions amounts to negligence and therefore renders the firm liable. The England subsidiary firm must therefore take into account the side-effects of their manufacturing process and give warnings and instructions to the public where necessary in order to control and mitigate the possible injuries to the public and to the land through their manufacturing activities. For instance, Supreme Court had to determine a case whether an anti-cancer drug manufacturer issued appropriate and adequate warnings of the side-effects of the drug by printing them on the drugs packaging. The court held that the firm did not provide any warning defect of that drug since the expected handlers of the drug were to be cancer treating doctors and not ordinary people.
The subsidiary manufacturing firm therefore needs to be very cautious as it carries out its manufacturing activities in Japanese soil. However, there are certain instances which will liberate the subsidiary manufacturing firm from liability suppose proven; if it is proven that the possible defect of the manufacturers product was not possible to discover with the then state of scientific know-how, the firm wouldnt be held liable. Also, if the subsidiary manufacturing firm deals on products used as raw materials for a different manufacturing firm where the defect occurs as a result of the subsidiary firms compliance with the other manufacturing firms instructions, the subsidiary firm wouldnt be held negligent for such a defect. (Ottley, 1984).
Despite the fact that submission to legal safety standards is a core factor to consider in determining whether the operations of the subsidiary firm are defective; it doesnt form a complete defence against defectiveness of the subsidiary firms operations. Under the product liability law, the subsidiary firm may still be held answerable for injuries caused by its products which comply with the statutory safety standards. In case of such injuries, the subsidiary firm can be sued by other complainants independently and separately regardless of whether one had sued the firm for similar claims (Kinzie, 2002). In order to be safe or rather face the least challenges with respect to product liability law, the subsidiary firm will have to be more cautious in the land of Japan.
If people are harmed as a result of improper handling of the toxic product that the subsidiary company produces then it should take full responsibility and possibly compensate the affected victims. The law stipulates that when a person or an individual is harmed by unsafe products, then the injured person is obliged to take a cause of action against the persons or company that manufactured or designed or produced the product. This is in accordance with the consumer protection Act that does not tolerate such phrases like-the consumers should be aware of the production going on and therefore take caution not to be harmed by the products (Moore, 2001). In this case, the subsidiary firm should take full liability of the harm caused because its their responsibility to ensure that the products they produce do not harm the residents or the consumers. The law also prohibits production of toxic substances that are likely to harm the environment, the highly toxic agricultural products should be properly handled as a way of caring for the immediate environment that may be affected. The rule of strict liability applies in this scenario therefore the subsidiary company has no otherwise but to attract liability for the danger they cause.
According to the Japanese laws, Lock ltd may be accused of negligence. Negligence in legal terms refers to the failure to exercise proper care. This therefore means that an individual or a company with a legal obligation omitted to do what is expected of it or did something that is prohibited by the law. From this definition, its clear that if the toxic agricultural products affects those working and living around the company then the subsidiary company must take full responsibility. This is breach of the law because the company is aware that it produces toxic substances that should be handled or disposed properly without interfering with the environment, the workers or the people living around the company (Gasaway, Robert R. 2002). Equally important, a company is held liable for negligence if it exercises lack of reasonable care in her productions that eventually cause harm to the people. Lock Ltd subsidiary company is aware of its products and should therefore exercise reasonable care in disposing the toxic agricultural products it produces. Failure to do so should attract liability and proper compensation done to the affected individuals. The company can as well be shut down in accordance with the law because it does not undertake its productions seriously or it goes against the production laws. The holding company in England can as well attract liability because it is the head office and should therefore regulate the operations of its branches to ensure that they operate within the confines of the law and maintain a healthy environment that is friendly to both the workers and the residents.
In conclusion improper handling of the toxic products will be a clear indication of poor management of the subsidiary company, the top management which consists of majorly Japanese will have to be prosecuted for causing harm to workers and the residents too. Its their obligation to ensure that they properly manage the company and that there is no improper disposal of waste products at whatever cost (Kinzie, 2002). Manufacturers have a duty to make their productions as safe as possible. Failure to do so then the company should adequately inform the public and its workers on the possible dangers that exists in its operations (Mulherin, Joseph. 2001). The company should apply the concept of reasonably safe product to avoid dangers that may result due to either negligence or poor management.
Gasaway, Robert R. 2002. "The Problem of Tort Reform: Federalism and the Regulation of Lawyers." Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy pp.25-34.
Kinzie, Mark A. 2002. Product Liability Litigation. Albany, N.Y.: West/Thomson Learning.
Moore, Michael J. 2001. Product Liability Entering The Twenty-First Century: The U.S. Perspective. Washington, D.C.: AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.
Mulherin, Joseph. 2001. "Geier v. American Honda Motor Company, Inc.: Has the Supreme Court Extended the Pre-Emption Doctrine Too Far?" Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges 21.
Ottley, Y.J. and Ottley, B.L., 1984. Product Liability Law in Japan: An Introduction to a Developing Area of Law. Ga. J. Intl & Comp. L., 14, p.29.
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