Due to increased market rivalry, Timmco has recently seen a decline in revenues, placing the firm under significant financial strain. They have started doing research and analysis to pinpoint the issue and are looking for opportunities to increase efficiency and save expenses. Their analysis has shown that the valve, a crucial part of their equipment, offers the most potential for cost savings. To ensure the operators’ health and safety, the valves, which are essential to the equipment’s operation, must be of the highest caliber and made by skilled craftsmen (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). According to their five-year deal, Timmco receives 1,000 of these valves year for $2,500 apiece from North Carolina’s Blagg Industries.
Sanco, a foreign valve supplier in Slawrovia, was approached by Timmco at that point and gave Timmco an estimate for only $1,000 per valve. Due to the greater manufacturing rate and inferior quality of the valves offered, this pricing was much cheaper than Blagg Industries’. The Slawrovia government had projected that it would take about a month to secure a permission before they could export these valves to the United States (Mercantile Law, 2019). However, Sanco told Timmco that by making a $20,000 “gift” to the government via a connection with a Sanco official, they would be able to get their export permission in a week. Timmco said that they will still promote their goods as being “Made in America” in spite of this.
Contract Breach and Remedies
A person or organization violates a contract when they don’t carry out their obligations under the agreement or don’t provide what was requested or promised in a timely manner. The question at issue in the present circumstance is whether Timmco’s negligence—either deliberate or unintentional—will breach Blagg Industries’ unilateral contract with Timmco. What legal remedies are available to Blagg in the event that Timmco breaches the contract between the two parties?
By examining the guidelines given in the contract and the nature of the infringement, it is feasible to evaluate whether or not an agreement has been breached. When one party falls short of the standard of performance that the other party is expected to provide under the agreed-upon conditions, it is a serious breach. Even if a nonmaterial breach is a minor infraction, the non-breaking party is nevertheless allowed to sue for the losses they have incurred.
The Timmco and Blagg deal, which stipulates that Blagg must supply 1,000 valve units yearly over a 5-year period at a price of $2,500 per unit, has been reached. Courts attempt to determine if the breach prohibits the aggrieved party from enjoying the advantages as first hoped for in order to determine the substance of a contract breach (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). If a violation is discovered, the court will consider the impact it has on the non-breaching party and Timmco’s intention to uphold the terms of the agreement. The choice is also influenced by the time of the breach. The court will consider a violation to be of a significant character if it occurs during the first few years of the contract. Nevertheless, violations that happen after a lengthy time may only result in compensation being given to the accused.
Should Blagg be compelled to break their contract with Timmco, they would suffer a serious financial setback since they are a tiny firm with less than twelve employees. As a consequence, many people would lose their jobs, and the business’s closure might become permanent. This would have a negative impact on both the town’s economy and the lives of its residents. The contract’s estimated duration of 3.5–4 years had not yet materialized at the time of the claimed violation (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). Due to this, the court can find the breach to be insignificant and qualify Blagg as a non-breaching party for financial damages (Federation of American Scientists, 2020). Such a violation may be remedied by monetary damages, equitable remedies, or restitution. It’s probable that Timmco would be held accountable for disgorgement in this situation, which Hayward defines as compensation for gains made by a party as a result of their breach of contract that outweigh the losses. For instance, the Sanco acquisition may result in a more than twofold increase in earnings from the previous year, which Blagg might be compensated for in the form of damages, either equitable or otherwise.
Negligence occurs when a person or organization fails to exercise reasonable care, harming another party as a result. An instance of this would be an interference-related contract violation. Sanco could be held accountable for malicious contractual interference in the matter of Timmco and Blagg (Federation of American Scientists, 2020). The use of violence, slander, bribery, false statements, or any other malicious civil or criminal action with the intent to prevent another person or organization from carrying out a duty as defined in a contract. An alleged “gift payment” made by Sanco to Timmco in exchange for accelerated approvals may be considered bribery under the law. According to courts, negligent interference motivated by a potential financial gain constitutes a tort (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). In J’Aire Corporation v. Gregory, the California Supreme Court addressed this issue and stated that if a plaintiff could show that there was a transaction that affected them, that there was a discernible probability of their harm, and that there was a link between the defendant’s actions and the damage suffered. The defendant is held accountable for taking the necessary precautions to stop additional damage, and they may also be held accountable for carelessness resulting from a breach of contract. Sanco could be held responsible for irresponsible contractual interference and contract violation as a result.
Liability for Products
Manufacturers like Timmco have a big responsibility to their customers when it comes to the goods they make and sell. If Timmco chooses to employ Sanco’s low-cost valves, there may be a concern since any valve failure might result in expensive litigation alleging negligence and culpability. However, Timmco will be liable for any harm caused to people as a result of the malfunction of their goods under the Restatement (Third) of Torts, and all that has to be shown is that the product was made using inferior materials, assembly, or packaging. Therefore, Timmco must completely eradicate any injury risks linked with its product via a properly made item in order to avoid the liabilities related to defective goods (Federation of American Scientists, 2020).
Act against Foreign Corrupt Practices
Timmco is considering a possible agreement with Sanco that might result in the Slawrovian Minister of Commerce receiving money in return for accelerated export authorizations. However, U.S.-based businesses are prohibited from bribing foreign agents, including government officials, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the United States (Department of Justice, 2019). No matter whether money, jewels, or any other kind of compensation is given, accepted, or even permitted in order to secure or maintain business, this provision applies to any U.S. corporation, employee, or agent operating on the company’s behalf (Weitzenböck, 2017). If the present is given to the Slawrovian minister in return for export licenses, Timmco will be breaking the bribery legislation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.
A blatant violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was made when Timmco allegedly sent the Slawrovia Minister of Commerce a $20,000 transfer in order to facilitate the shipment of valves to the US. It serves as the foundation for lawsuits against Timmco in both civil and criminal court. The FCPA claims to ban any tertiary payments to third parties that are likely to distribute or payback such remittance to the subject official in addition to prohibiting direct gifts to foreign government officials (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). The FCPA also includes a “books and records” provision, which mandates that businesses keep track of all official transactions and make sure that every official payment complies with the nature of the goods or services being provided as well as all other relevant regulatory and legal requirements (Weitzenböck, 2017). Timmco must keep track of, audit, and confirm the legitimacy of each payment or else face civil and criminal fines.
Finally, businesses need to be aware of the FCPA’s anti-corruption rules. Organizations are prohibited by this legislation from approving, providing, or assisting any payment to foreigners holding public office with the intent to influence their decisions. It is also unlawful to pay or provide a gratuity or payback in exchange for a business endeavor. Timmco must first consider the legal and ethical ramifications of their choices. Timmco and its administrators would face legal and criminal consequences if they gave the Slawrovia Minister of Commerce any money in order to speed up the authorisation process in violation of the FCPA (Weitzenböck, 2017). Timmco should also make sure that both its internal control system and its permitted records comply with the FCPA. Additionally, businesses must take all necessary measures to ensure that payments made to third parties are wise and do not represent a bribe or compensation.
Deceptive or fraudulent conduct and practices have been classified by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as criminal offenses that are subject to the FTC Act’s penalties. These misleading features include deleting crucial information and making false claims or misrepresenting the facts regarding a product or service. In light of this, the FTC has created a Policy Statement on Deception that lists the many behaviors that may be interpreted in a deceptive or misleading manner (Kamal Khan et al., 2017). There is little doubt that the claim is true in light of the Timmco “Made in America” logo, the components obtained from Blagg Industries’ facilities in North Carolina, and the manufacture of the complete product in Texas (Mercantile Law, 2019). To the contrary, the FTC recently approved a rule requiring marketers that make “Made in USA” claims to support such claims with convincing evidence that the items are, in fact, “all or substantially all” created in America. Any further use of the “Made in America” label would be a grave breach of false advertising since the valve component of Timmco’s product is manufactured in Slawvernia.
More worrisome perhaps are the moral repercussions of Timmco’s potential decision to outsource valve formation to Sanco. Due to the tyranny of its employees, including their children, who are forced to work in dangerous environments for little to no pay, Sanco is only able to make such modest expenditures (Kamal Khan et al., 2017). It is morally wrong for Timmco to engage in such actions since this is a severe breach of human rights (Department of Justice, 2019). Additionally, Timmco has been told by Sanco’s CEO that they may ship the valves to them more quickly provided they send a $20,000 “gift” to the Slawrovia Minister of Commerce. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits American businesses from paying bribes to foreign agents, and this particular violation of the law violates that law (Jamie Darin Prenkert et al., 2022). Overall, it would be abhorrent for Timmco to contract out the manufacture of its valves to Sanco and then wage a public relations and advertising campaign based on their commitment to superior American-made products. Such a campaign would be deceptive, untruthful, and very certainly in violation of several rules and laws. Any company’s PR and advertising efforts must always be sincere and truthful, especially when dealing with delicate themes (Mercantile Law, 2019). Let’s say Timmco really wants to promote their commitment to superior American manufacturing. If so, it should choose a household supplier that adheres to its standards and make sure that its marketing and advertising efforts reflect this.
Corporations must adhere to specific principles in order to maintain their moral compliance and ethical behavior. These have the power to mold the organization’s aspirations, goals, and objectives, serving as the cornerstone of its vision. Timmco is very proud of its high-quality, “100% Made in the USA” goods, and these principles continue to be its guiding principles (Chonko, 2018). However, because of their current financial difficulties, there have been attempts to minimize expenses, which have resulted in problems including breaches of their contractual commitments to Blagg, the use of Sanco valves of poorer quality, and maybe even violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Timmco must adopt a utilitarian and rights-based decision-making process in order to uphold its commitment to provide premium, entirely local products and services. The maximization of social benefits must guide actions, claims utilitarian philosophy. This would imply that the top executives would have to understand the implications. Regarding the rights-based system, the business must be mindful of individual liberties and limit its judgments to those that do not restrict freedom (DepaUsing of Justice, 2019). Using the previous example would entail honoring rather than violating the deal with Blagg. Timmco must follow these concepts and consistently take into account the interests of all its stakeholders when making decisions in order to ensure that they do not compromise ethical conduct (Chonko, 2018). The executives of Timmco quickly recognized the risks associated with the low-cost valves obtained from Sanco; the likelihood of significant harm to the community was so obvious that they felt compelled to uphold utilitarianism and take all reasonable measures to improve wellbeing and prevent suffering.
The decision-makers at Timmco might take the rights theory into account. This school of thought holds that it is ethically required to be truthful and avoid misleading people while disseminating knowledge. They also think that individuals have a right to information that is honest and true. Since consumers in the market should be able to depend on what is said, it would be against the rights principle for Timmco to mislabel the product as “Made in the USA” if it were to employ Sanco’s valves.
The management group of Timmco shouldn’t move the deal with Sanco further. Due to their disagreement with the FCAP and Blagg Industries, this would be bad for the business’s image and might result in harsh penalties. Furthermore, the organization would be exposed to a variety of responsibilities if it were shown that it was responsible for the damage caused by a less expensive but malfunctioning valve. The only sensible course of action to preserve their fundamental manufacturing characteristics and happily provide only the best American-made goods is to refrain from entering into such a partnership.
Chonko, L. (2018). Ethical Theories. https://dsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/EthicalTheories.pdf
Department of Justice. (2019). A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Second Edition. https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/file/1292051/download
Federation of American Scientists. (2020). The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): An Overview. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/IF11588.pdf
Jamie Darin Prenkert, A James Barnes, Perry, J. E., Haugh, T., & Stemler, A. R. (2022). Business law: the ethical, global, and digital environment. Mcgraw Hill Education.
Kamal Khan, S., Saeed, N., Liaqaut, S., Khan, A., & Jabeen, Z. (2017). Journal of Marketing and Consumer Research www.iiste.org ISSN 2422-8451 An International Peer-reviewed Journal Vol. 18. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234694084.pdf
Mercantile Law. (2019). Remedies For Breach Of Contract Mercantile Law. https://www.jandkicai.org/pdf/16820Remedies.pdf
Weitzenböck, E. (2017). English Law of Contract: Remedies. https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/jus/jus/JUS5260/v12/undervisningsmateriale/Remedies.pdf