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    Regulatory Agencies in Business Organizations

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    The Butler Telephone Company Inc. (Butler), contracted with the Sandidge Construction Company (Sandidge) to lay 18 miles of telephone cable in a rural area. In the contract, Butler reserved the right to inspect the work for compliance with the terms of the contract. Butler did not control how Sandidge performed the work. Johnnie Carl Ugh, an employee of Sandidge, was killed on the job when the sides to an excavation in which he was working caved in on top of him. Evidence disclosed that the excavation was not properly shored or sloped and that it violated general safety standards. Pugh's parents and estate brought a wrongful death action against Butler. Is Butler liable? Does it matter whether the deceased was an employee or independent contractor of Butler?


    Four lawyers agree to split yellow page advertising costs and agree that each lawyer has his or her own office in each part of the city. They also agree that they can meet clients from that part of town in the other's office with no rental fee. A client sues all the attorneys because one lawyer didn't file some papers on time and she lost her suit. Are all the attorneys liable?


    A customer, Tammy, was bumped by a grocery cart at a local store. The employee, Stewart, brushed her ankle. Later in the store, Tammy stated that Stewart should have acknowledged the action and apologize. Stewart declined and proceeded to punch Tammy in the face. Is the grocery store liable for Stewart's actions if sued?


    Bob has been running a small water softener business out of his house for a year or so. He has a couple of salespersons/installers, and his wife does the books. Now business has really taken off and he wants to lease some office/warehouse space and hire more employees. He wants to know how to protect himself from customers who may sue him down the road, and from employees, e.g. those who may start up their own competing business. Also, would he need any licenses? What regulatory agencies should he be concerned with? What advice would you give Bob?

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    Solution Summary

    This case considers regulatory agencies.