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Business Law 415 - Business Ethics Case - National Enquirer Inc

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Business Law 415

Business Ethics Case

National Enquirer Inc. is a Florida-based company that also conducts most of its operations in Florida. The National Enquirer has long been recognized as a tabloid newspaper that is fond of sensationalizing issues, especially when dealing with celebrity issues whether they are gossips, news, or crimes. National Enquirer is also distributed nationwide, on a weekly basis. Basically, the tabloid has a reputation of not delivering accurate news. They do not mind fabricating each of their articles, as long as they could attract the attention of the public, even if at times, their articles could even ruin other people's lives and reputation. Apparently, because of this image, National Enquirer is less respected in the country. It does not enjoy the credibility that, for example, New York Times has.

After years of publishing fabricated information, the National Enquirer encountered a situation where a lawsuit against them was filed by Jones, a California Resident (Cheeseman, 2010). Because of the residential location of the defendant, the National Enquirer tried to avoid the complaint. While having to discuss if it was unethical to try to avoid suit in California, one would initially think how clear the answer could be. Seeing it from the perspective of National Enquirer being considered as having to save shareholders' money, it would be ethical to avoid the suit in the given state. Although, on a different note, selling its papers in California, regardless where defendants place of residence is, it makes them liable to all parties for any damages committed to the state's respective residents. Another point in favor of the opinion of it being unethical is if they really think they are not worthy of the complaint, then it should be easy for them to just face the case. Moral damage is not limited to one state alone, especially in the United States where people can just simply relocate, anytime. However, paradoxically an individual or any company would always want to avoid legal cases, because it can make or break one's reputation (WorldIQ.com, 2010).

Regarding whether it is valid for the defendant to file the suit in California, it is undoubtedly valid. As previously emphasized, the emotional or psychological damage of a certain article is not limited to just one location. The story already created a damage that is irreversible. It could have led Shirley Jones to suffer from severe depression because of too much embarrassment or dismay. Worse, she could have committed suicide because of the damage done by that fabricated story. Moreover, given that National Enquirer has also distributed their tabloids to the state of California, where the defendant works and lives, the story can even have a drastic impact on Jones' career. Moral damages can really cross borders, and with that, National Enquirer and



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