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Tort refers to an infringement on a person’s right especially for an individual who is under a contract. This result to legal liability for the person who breaches the contractual terms (Bermingham, & Brennan, 2012).Here, the person refers to a natural person or artificial person, which can be a legal business entity such as companies and other bodies. The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in the United States and has a large network of manufacturing subsidiaries across the globe.
The company operates in the beverage industry and deals with the manufacture of non-alcoholic drinks. Its main product brands are Coke, Fanta, Sprite, dietary Coke, sports drinks, and a wide range of soft drinks (Coca-Cola, 2012).
Since the company operates in different countries through subsidiaries, it has to sign contractual agreements with these companies regarding patent, trademark, and copyright issues. The common tort liability that can arise in the Coca-Cola Company is product liability. There are various legal principles that can apply to products. These include payment of damages and other legal remedies.
Intentional tort and unintentional tort
Intentional tort is committed when a person commit an act that infringes the rights of another person or persons. On the other hand, unintentional tort arises due to either negligence or recklessness of one party in a contractual obligation (Best & Barnes, 2007).Unintentional tort arises when a person (tortfeasor) fails to exercise his duties in a contractual agreement thereby causing injury to another party or parties covered by the contract. Alternatively, unintentional tort arises when one party’s recklessness causes injury to other people that are part of the contract.
Negligence can affect business in a number of ways. For instance, a business that deals with renting out property to clients and fails to give notice that the property requires renovation will be liable to pay damages to individuals who suffer damages due to the collapse of the property.
On the other hand, intention tort differs significantly from unintentional tort. Intentional tort refers to deliberate acts that one party does to hurt or injure another party. Mostly, intentional tort is of a civil nature (Best & Barnes, 2007). The tortfeasor know that their acts can cause damage to one party, but they go ahead and commit the acts. The most common forms of intentional are libel, battery, assault, trespass, false imprisonment, and intentional emotional distress. An example of intentional tort that might affect the business is trespass. This refers to the intentional use of private property that the company did not originally acquire from the landlord. In this case, the business has to pay damages for trespass into private property.
The most common tort liability for Coca-Cola Company is product liability. The company may be compelled to pay for the health damages caused by its products. For instance, the issue of Coca-Cola brands causing cancer is a tort liability (Poulter, 2012). The Company can mitigate this liability by ensuring that the manufacturing process follows the established health and safety standards. This can be achieved through regular inspection and development of tasted syrups used in the manufacture of soft drinks. Furthermore, if there is a reported case of cancer-causing chemical in Company products, the company should withdraw the brands from the market.
The coke brand health issues have been on the rise lately. There have been calls that some of the company products should be banned because of the cancer-causing chemicals linked to their products (Poulter, 2012). The Coca-Cola Company should avoid such product liability by ensuring the chemicals used in the coloration of the drink are safe for human consumption.
The law of tort can negatively affect business performance hence profitability. Companies and other business should be aware of the acts that can lead them to gross tort liability. Thus, companies should have an efficient risk management to deal with such eventualities.
Bermingham, V., & Brennan, C. (2012). Tort law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Best, A., & Barnes, D. W. (2007). Basic tort law: Cases, statutes, and problems. Austin: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
Coca-Cola. (2012). Coca-Cola. Web.
Poulter, S. (2012). Calls to ban Coca-Cola coloring linked to cancer that is still available in Britain despite U.S. health alert. Web.