Today, Roll Call published a piece by CPR President Rena Steinzor in support of the “Hide no Harm” bill.
According to the piece:
The “Hide No Harm Act” includes a definition of the “responsible corporate officer” against whom such cases could be brought, clarifying an existing legal doctrine by saying higher-level executives have the “responsibility and authority, by reason of his or her position in the business entity . . . to acquire knowledge of any serious danger.” The key is that the person could or should have known, not that he or she admits to having known.
The Department of Justice is undoubtedly negotiating fervently with company lawyers to reach a corporate settlement. But the prospect of allowing GM to buy its way out of having caused at least 13 deaths without even admitting criminal liability, casts a shadow over the proceedings. Why should the responsible parties at GM escape prosecution because the corporate “person” that employs them can afford to pay a hefty monetary penalty, giving federal prosecutors brief bragging rights without deterring other bad actors? Why not jail is now the most pressing question.
To read the piece in full, click here.