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Union Carbide Case Analysis

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During the 70s and 80s, a chemical plant in India was producing pesticides. Union Carbide had 51 percent ownership, and the other 49 percent was owned by Indians and the Indian government. The plant was operated by Indians, and the American company had little to do with operations and barely communicated with the plant in India. On December 3, 1984, a gas leak caused a terrible disaster, killing 2,500 people and wounding 100,000. There was debate over who was responsible, the Indian operators or the American company, and also where the court proceedings should take place.


Union Carbide is responsible for what happened at Bhopal because they have majority ownership and should have been more involved and knowledgeable with what was going on in their Indian plant. That they weren't communicating and becoming more involved with the plant design just seems lazy on their part.

Chairman Warren Anderson is also personally responsible because he should have encouraged better communication with the plant. The Indian procedures used for creating methyl isocyanate were known to be very dangerous, and I think that Union Carbide was negligent for not being more involved with this project.

Court proceedings

The ruling by the U.S. court of appeals made sense, and I thought it was ignorant of Union Carbide to think that they could impose US rules on the Indians even though they wanted the trial to take place there.

The Indian courts should have jurisdiction in this case considering that the disaster happened in India, and all of the evidence and witnesses are in India. It would be much more difficult to have witnesses come to the United States, and the documents would all have to be translated to English. Also, this company was considered



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