What is your personal reaction to the outcome of the Buffalo Creek Disaster case? Be specific. Tell us why
In my opinion, the ruling was fair since it served justice to the affected people. It was necessary for the coal mining company to compensate individuals and families who lost their property and family members to the disaster. Evidently, the affected parties were going through a lot of pain due to the company’s negligence to adhere to social responsiveness. There was enough evidence that the company failed to protect the community from such disaster. It was good that the case favored the citizens of Buffalo Creek since this big company.
It is evident that the coal mining company was responsible for the Buffalo Creek disaster. Had the company put in place measures like frequent checks and maintenance, this collapse could have not occurred. This raises the question about the company’s keenness on social responsiveness. It is required that a company should take care of the surrounding where it operates. The company’s activities are judged on its efforts in trying to maintain a healthy environment for the community where it exists (Rangell 313). For instance, a coal mining firm should ensure that it does not pollute the environment with its wastes. The negligence of this mining company is a major attribute to the flooding waste waters that killed many people and destroyed the property of unknown value. Hence the judge’s ruling favored the interests of the common citizens who at many times are exploited by the company’s negligence.
- From a strictly ethical prospective, what is your assessment of the conduct of: (Tell us why)
- a) Gerald M. Stern- Attorney, why?
The attorney adhered to ethical concerns as necessitated by the corporate law. With his help, the affected families and victims were able to win the case whereby the judge ordered the company to pay for losses and pain undergone (Stern 423). It is clear that the attorney was able to articulate ethical issues like discrimination and corruption which had denied fair hearings for victims who filed cases against giant firms like the coal-mining company. Also, we realize that there was discrimination at workplaces as people from other races had no rights. Many a times, they were given impartial hearing when they had work-related issues and this heightened conflict in firms. Therefore, it was the responsibility of corporate law graduates to fight for the rights of the minority. Also, the attorney was to articulate for fair trials in the judicial systems since discrimination in their judgments was evident.
- b) K.K. Hall – Judge, why?
At the same time, it is worthy to note that, the Judge gave a fair hearing to both sides. He made sure that the cases were not interrupted by parties who wanted to deny justice for coal miners and other stakeholders. It is good that his ruling made the mining company to take responsibility and compensate the affected population. The judgment was ethical since the case filed proved beyond reasonable doubts that the company failed to adhere to social responsiveness which resulted into deaths and loss of property. It is worthy to note that the corporate laws were not elaborate on what firms were supposed to do to avoid conflict with the community where it was situated. For the Buffalo Creek case, the company should have come out promptly and show concerns by helping the affected people overcome the situation. Therefore, this was a reason enough for the judge to award the case to the affected parties in a fair manner without discrimination.
- c) The management of Buffalo Creek, and of pittston, why?
The Buffalo Creek citizens had formed a committee which was tasked with a role of representing their views just after the disaster occurred. This committee was secretly planning revenge through an attack on the coal company. The management’s act was not ethical since resolving to attack and destroy property in the company could not help in solving the problem at hand. It could have been reasonable for Buffalo Creek management to adhere to the law by not infringing other people rights. This is the reason the coal-mining company filed a lawsuit against the survivors for contemplating an attack in the companies.
Stern, Gerald M. The Buffalo Creek Disaster. New York: Vintage, 1976.
Titchener, James L., and Frederic T. Kapp. “Family and character change at Buffalo Creek.” The American Journal of Psychiatry (1976).
Rangell, Leo. “Discussion of the Buffalo Creek Disaster: The Course of Psychic.” Am J Psychiatry 133.3 (1976): 313.