July 18, 2012
Thomas J. Donahue on "Tort Tourism" in Foreign Courts
Thomas J. Donahue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has an op-ed entitled, U.S. Firms Prone To 'Tort Tourism' In Foreign Courts, in Investor's Business Daily. The op-ed particularly discusses the Chevron case in Ecuador.
September 19, 2010
Toyota Settles Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Toyota has settled, for an undisclosed amount, an unintended-acceleration lawsuit involving the deaths of four persons. The accelerator appeared to have been caught in the floormat. The article notes that Toyota faces about 200 unintended-acceleration lawsuits.
March 15, 2010
Walter Olson Attempts to Defuse the Toyota Panic
His article, Exorcising Toyota’s Demons, was published today in the National Review online.
February 22, 2010
Array of Lawsuits Expected Against Toyota
Professor David Owen (South Carolina) and I are quoted in a report tonight on All Things Considered on National Public Radio; the audio report -- Toyota Seen Facing Multiple Lawsuits, by Wendy Kaufman -- will also be posted on the web tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST.
February 22, 2010 in Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Class Actions, Informal Aggregation, Lawyers, Procedure, Products Liability, Regulation, Resources - Federal Agencies, Travel, Vehicles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 14, 2010
Crisis Prevention and Toyota's Corporate Culture
The Economist suggests a connection between Toyota's continuing manufacturing problems and a corporate culture that fails to raise problems because it is overly deferential. I have separately heard that Asian airplane co-pilots have had to be specifically trained to overcome their traditional cultural deference and challenge the actions of pilots, if warranted, in emergency situations. Here's an excerpt from article:
Toyota’s problems are its alone, but they highlight broader failings in Japanese corporate governance that make large companies particularly vulnerable to mishandling a crisis in this way. Such firms typically have a rigid system of seniority and hierarchy in which people are reluctant to pass bad news up the chain, thus keeping information from those who need to hear it in a misguided effort to protect them from losing face. In many firms, including Toyota, family ties make challenging the boss all but impossible. Any attempt to short-circuit the hierarchy is deemed an act of disloyalty and a violation of the traditional consensual corporate culture. Groupthink becomes entrenched because there is so little mobility between companies: hiring from outside is thought to disrupt a firm’s internal harmony, and an executive willing to move will be stained as a disloyal “job-hopper”. This further hinders firms’ ability to take bold, decisive action. The preference for harmony crowds out alternative viewpoints.
June 26, 2009
NTSB Finds Identifies Two New Instances of Airbus-Sensor Problems
Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Safety Board Cites Two New Reports of Problems With Airbus Sensors, by Andy Pasztor. Here's an excerpt:
The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday identified separate malfunctions on two different airlines that ended with safe landings over the past few weeks. They appear to describe the same type of malfunction -- triggering a loss of autopilot and automatic-throttle -- that investigators believe occurred on the Air France A330 shortly before it crashed May 31 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in stormy weather.
Such airspeed issues aren't enough to bring down a jetliner. Investigators in the Air France crash suspect a combination of turbulent weather, possible computer glitches, pilot actions and perhaps other factors combined to put the jet into a fatal dive.