Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

A Family's Tragedy-Leaked Pictures of a Teen's Fatal Accident

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

A Family's Tragedy-Leaked Pictures of a Teen's Fatal Accident

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

Moral standards of behavior vary between individuals. They are reflection of norms, beliefs, values, and personal preferences. Individuals in organizations cannot rely only on their moral standards or intuition when deciding what is right or wrong, fair or unfair, and appropriate or inappropriate. They need to follow policies, standard operating procedures, and need to understand that not adhering to such procedures may lead to costly mistakes.

The core pedagogical objective of the case is to help provide an applied, hands-on format for students to increase their understanding of what responsibilities organizations and their professionals have towards the general public (i.e. customers/citizens); to further engage students in the topics of: Professional ethics, privacy rights, and privacy issues; and the right of the public to know.

CASE SYNOPSIS

This case is about a much--publicized story of an eighteen year old girl that lost her life instantly after losing control of her father's Porsche car on a toll road in Orange County's Lake Forest, (Southern California) on October 31, 2006. In this case, the California Highway Patrol "CHP" has acknowledged that against its policies and procedure, one of its dispatchers leaked the graphic pictures of the teen's nearly decapitated body onto the internet. The leaked images made their way to about 1,600 websites world-wide and were sent by strangers to her family and relatives by means of e-mails and text messages. The CHP apologized to the family and took disciplinary actions against two dispatchers who violated the agency's standard operating procedures.

In 2007, the girl's family filed a civil lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol agency and its dispatchers for the leaked images and cited violation of privacy, negligence and infliction of emotional distress. On the other hand, the CHP maintained a position that while the release of the photographs was morally wrong, the CHP and its dispatchers did not violate any governmental regulation or statute, and accordingly, the plaintiffs did not have a civil case against them. In 2008, the court dismissed the case and the family criticized the ruling and appealed it. After three years (December 28, 2010), the outcome of the law suit of this case was still undetermined.

This case serves as a great educational topic for discussing what responsibilities organizations and its professionals have towards the general public (i.e. customers/citizens);to further engage students in the topics of professional ethics, privacy rights and privacy issues, and the process of making ethical decisions.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTE

CASE ISSUES AND SUBJECTS

This case serves as a great educational topic for discussing what responsibilities organizations and its professionals have towards the general public (i.e. customers/citizens); to further engage students in the topics of professional ethics; privacy rights and privacy issues; and the right of the public to know.

INTENDED COURSES AND LEVELS

This case study explores the subject of ethical and responsibilities of professionals in the workplace. It is intended for class study application of concepts learned in the classroom. Instructors are encouraged to ask students not to search and look for the images. They are very graphic (unfortunately some sites still display these images).

This case is intended for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in Organizational Behavior, and Business and Society. It is designed to compliment knowledge derived from concepts in organizational and individual ethical and legal responsibilities with their application to an actual setting. In other words, it seeks to provide an applied, hands-on format for students to increase their understanding of these topics. Answers to the questions in the case will derive from what students learned from theories and concepts. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.