Effective Compliance Means Imposing Individual Liability
Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review (2018) Vol. 5
8 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2019
Date Written: 2018
This essay argues that individual executives must be held personally liable for corporate crime that places consumers in harm’s way. Placing emphasis on the conduct of pharmaceutical companies that has placed patients at risk by causing the medically unnecessary consumption of drugs, this article examines instances of corporate misconduct wherein the justice system failed to hold responsible executives liable.
It suggests that corporations gauge the cost of noncompliance as the cost of doing business – if the profits of misconduct exceed the price of being held liable, corporations will view civil and even criminal sanctions as simply the price for a license to break the law. It ultimately concludes that without threat of individual prosecution, corporations will continue committing harmful wrongs. This essay hopes its analysis will emphasize to regulators and lawmakers the need to impose more severe consequences for a corporate executive’s decision to implement or encourage misconduct that ultimately harms consumers or employees.
Keywords: corporate governance, liability, corporations, compliance
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