West vs. Caterpillar Tractor Company Inc: A Case Study

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Describe the company and the product safety issue that led to the lawsuit Over the years the name Caterpillar, Inc. also referred to as CAT is considered to be the largest supplier of construction, mining equipment, gas engines, gas turbines and diesel engines in the world. The company has been conducting business worldwide for over 85 years. As of 2011, the sales and revenues of Caterpillar Inc., counted at about $60.138 billion. Caterpillar Tractor Company, Inc. is part of Caterpillar. However, regardless of all the achievements made by Caterpillar, Inc., the firm has a number of ethical issues which it has got to address. Several issues deal more with the nature of products offered by the company as compared to anything company itself has done. Caterpillar, Inc. is facing a lawsuit caused by product safety issues (West, 1976). In July 21, 1976 according to the Supreme Court of Florida, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit of product safety issue "West v. Caterpillar Tractor Company, Inc.". According to the courts an employee from Houdaille Industries who was operating a Caterpillar grader struck and ran over, Gwendolyn West. She was in the hospital for six days however, as the result of massive internal injuries passed away. Consequently, Leon West, husband of the victim claimed a right to damages against Houdaille Industries as well as Caterpillar Tractor Company, Inc. According to the plaintiff the company's tractor didn't have any sound warning when it was in reverse mode.

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