Court case analysis

Posted: August 13th, 2013




Court Case Analysis

Metropolitan Edison Company v. People against Nuclear Energy

After Metropolitan Edison Company closed down one of their nuclear reactors for refueling, the other one suffered a damage that ruined the reactor and had to be shut down while the mayor ordered an evacuation of pregnant women and young children. Upon returning, people sued the company saying that a reopening of the plants would cause severe psychological health damage to the residents near the area as well as the cohesiveness of the community.

The judiciary recognizes the psychological health of people that is caused by the actions of an agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The recognition concerns the protection of human health, which is the main purpose of NEPA. This brought about the question of whether psychological health effects should be treated as other health issues or it should be eradicated. It was understood that they ought to be recognized and treated as such since they affect the health of people just like social issues do.

However, this is subject to discerning of the psychological effects according to how direct they are in relation to the cause or action of the agency. In this case, the psychological effects were identified as different since there was no physical change to the environment caused by the company. Madison Company had not changed any physical environment. Therefore, the reasons were not sufficient to prevent the reopening of the plants. There was no direct relation between a change in the physical environment and the psychological health effects caused by the plants. For the psychological health effects to be considered under NEPA, they have to relate to a physical change in the environment. Therefore, the reasons cited under this case are not sufficient to prevent a reopening of the plant.

Federal Trade Commission v. Colgate-Palmolive Company

The issue in this case is whether the company engaged in false as well as deceptive advertising, which was in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the federal act commission, conveying to television viewers a false impression in which they believe they are seeing the actual test or a demonstration while it is not true amounts to material deception. This is a misrepresentation of facts that induces a buyer’s decision to buy a product, which amounts to deception. The advertisement made the viewers believe that the shaving cream could shave the toughest surfaces including sandpaper. The viewers believed the advertisement showed sandpaper being shaved in one stroke after applying the cream. The truth was that the material was not sandpaper but rather a simulated prop of Plexiglas where sand was attached. This was false representation considering people believed it was sandpaper.

In this case, the respondents have not acted ethically considering the cream could not perform as the advertisement suggested. Any deception cannot be considered ethical, considering it is aimed at influencing customers to buy the product. Although the cream could shave sandpaper, it would require soaking for around 80 minutes, meaning it could not be possible within the time aired on television. In this regard, the respondents had violated the fifth act of the Federal Trade Act Commission. The cream could not shave the sandpaper within the time demonstrated amounted to misrepresentation. Although it could shave a sandpaper, using a simulated prop made it possible to shave the sandpaper, which otherwise could not have been possible within that time. Therefore, this amounts to deception and misrepresentation of facts, which is in violation of the Federal Trade Act Commission.


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