April 25, 2011
3.5 Business Ethics Case
The National Enquirer is a weekly newspaper published nationally and circulates more than five million copies per week with 600,000 sold in California. This is almost twice the level of other states. The National Enquirer is recognized as a tabloid paper focusing on sensational and lurid news and the reporting is typically about famous celebrities. The paper is known for celebrity gossip and exaggeration There have been legal cases filed declaring information written in this paper has been untrue. The lawsuit from entertainer Shirley Jones sought damages for alleged defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Cheeseman, 2010. p. 49).
Shirley Jones filed the lawsuit in California because she is a resident in that state. Although the National Enquirer’s president and the primary place of business are located in the state of Florida, the state of California is where the National Enquirer has the highest circulation. The National Enquirer was unethical in avoiding suit in California because they knew the article would be widely circulated in California where Jones worked and the claims written could cause harm to the entertainer’s career.
California’s long-arm statute states they have jurisdiction over a non-resident. The Due Process Clause allows personal jurisdiction. The court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident, in this case Florida, when there is participation in an alleged wrongdoing intended for a resident in another state (California). The story had the most impact in California because of the wide circulation of the National Enquirer within the state and the writers knew the article could cause damage professionally and personally to Jones (Plaxton, 2009).
Cheeseman, H.R. (2010). Court Systems and Administrative Law. The legal environment of business and online commerce: Business ethics,... [continues]
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