Why the Wal-Mart corruption case is important to me

Not just because I dislike Wal-Mart as the monster that ate downtown and gobbled up mom-and-pop shops, and because it sells junk and because it makes itself the only game in town, and convinces consumers that it’s the place to shop.

And now we learn that Wal-Mart executives have been bribing Mexican officials. So a major Wal-Mart shareholder, the California teachers retirement system (the same system, I believe, that brought down a manifestation of IBM), has sued “27 current and past executives of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest employer.” [That stat, alone, gives me flu-like symptoms.]

But what really stops the shakes and gets my blood flowing is several paragraphs from the editorial:

[The complaint] details the harm executives and directors caused to Wal-Mart and shareholders because of legal and ethical violations.

In a shareholders action, a plaintiff has to establish one of two things: that the corporate officials acted out of their own self-interest rather than the company’s, or that the officials no longer deserve protection against liability under the so-called business judgment rule because of indefensible decisions they made.

While this test was designed to make it hard for such lawsuits to proceed against a company’s officials, it leaves room for meritorious suits against misconduct. In this case, shareholders are right to demand answers and accountability from Wal-Mart’s executives and directors.

Replace “Wal-Mart” with “the Board of Directors of the Little Crooked House Tenants Corp.” and you have my lawsuit described perfectly.

This entry was posted in Law, suits and order and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.