December 2, 2008
Impact of Management & Operational Processes on Product Quality
This following comments are from Tom Taormina, a forensic business pathologist and expert witness:
There is an aspect to proving design and manufacturing defects little known to attorneys practicing products liability tort. The root cause of defects leading to injury and/or death is often the underlying management, operational and quality processes employed by the manufacturer, distributor or service provider. While attorneys spend (literally) years and thousands of dollars sifting through forensic evidence, discovery and testimony of opposing experts, investigation into the standard of care exercised by the manufacturer is often overlooked.
Uncovering substandard management, manufacturing and quality practices can drive cases into more rapid and conclusive settlements. Through discovery and depositions, compelling evidence can be uncovered that demonstrates how business leaders are often oblivious to the potential for liability built into their usual and customary business practices. Since the jury is shown objective evidence of how the manufacturer was not only responsible for producing the subject defect, but how their company carelessly and recklessly condoned processes that were destined to produce defects, awards are often elevated to punitive damages.
The tools for this non-traditional approach to discovery and trial strategy are found in the disciplines of quality management, business process management and organizational behavior, not in the law library.
Tom Taormina, CMQ/OE, CMC
December 2, 2008 | Permalink
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