In Reply to: Top executives on trial - any other examples? posted by Julie Grantham on May 06, 1996 at 22:23:04:
: Does anybody know of another example - other than
: McLibel - where top executives from multinationals have had no choice
: but to stand and answer their critics questions (as they do
: when they go into the witness box in McLibel) and not
: been able to palm the situation off onto their PR departments?
Last year (I think) there was the farcical sight
of legion upon legion of tobacco executives
claiming not to have evidence of tobacco being
harmful. This was to the US Senate, and one result
was the scandal about tobacco companies manipulating nicotine
content of cigs in order to keep people hooked.
This was also a political issue for the Clinton's
anti smoking crusade, so there were even more
underhand dealings going on. End result: trouble
for the tobacco barons as Ligget admitted tobacco
may cause some damage (why did they admit? all
part of some dodgy dealing by big shareholders
to enable a Nabisco/Ligget merger, according to the
Guardian newspaper). This admission may yet lead to
'the mother of all torts' with millions of smokers
suing tobacco companies for damage to their health.