In 2004, Wyeth recalled ProHeart 6 upon the request of FDA due to the concerns regarding the initial test results of the product. The results indicated ProHeart 6 was actually harmful to dogs, caused reactions and even deaths upon repeat usage. This fact Wyeth did not disclose to its consumers but did recall the product for safety measures (Rule v. Fort Dodge Animal Health). In 2006, Rule filed a putative class action against Fort Dodge Animal Health and Wyeth claiming that the company sold ProHeart 6 without disclosing these initial test results.
In doing so Fort Dodge Animal Health has violated the law on the following counts: Rule, however, conceded that despite two dosages of ProHeart 6, her dog Luke did not suffer any injury or developed heartworm. Nevertheless, she was concerned with the fact, if she had known ProHeart 6 had these defects, she would not have bought it or administered it to her dog. Also, by using ProHeart 6, she inadvertently increased the risks of injury to her dog. Her motion was denied (Rule v. Fort Dodge Animal Health). On appeal, however, she pursued only two counts - breach of implied warranty of merchantability and Mass.
Rule claimed that like others she was entitled to the difference between price actually paid for ProHeart 6 and what would have been the worth of the product had its safety risks been disclosed. Furthermore, she sought statutory damages. Her calculation was greater than the actual damages, treble the initial cost of the product, but she did not gain much in the process because according to the judgment passed the violations were not willful and knowing (Rule v.
Fort Dodge Animal Health). When choices involve ethics, organizations and its constituents need to recognize and understand their decisions for ethical and legal consequences. In business ethics, this can be gauged by a moral continuum. According to Wines (2006, p. 44), the business of determining what is moral and what is not, is not so simple.
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