How to Handle Major Company Mistakes
The Office is my favorite television comedy of all time, yes business attorney Tulsa can have a sense of humar. The show was so perfect to me in so many ways. You may recall in season three there is an episode where an offensive watermark is printed on the background of some of Dunder Mifflin’s card stock. Obviously, this was a major problem. The episode where this unfortunate event unfolds opens with everyone on the phone apologizing profusely to some very offended customers. One of the customers is a local high school that inadvertently transmitted their prom invitations on this paper.
Very quickly, the entire staff gathers in the conference room for one of Michael’s favorite meetings. Michael then dispenses his instructions to the team. He first takes the accounting team consisting of Angela, Kevin, and Oscar and assigns them to customer service. He says Kelly is going to train them. Kelly is the bubbly, air-headed girl who constantly causes drama. The scene cuts to a one-on-one interview with Angela where she ingests an aspirin as a pre-emptive measure to what she describes as an inevitable headache. Michael then dispatches Jim along with Andy to a local high school where Andy discovers his girlfriend is a student. Finally, Michael then unveils his master plan to invite a local customer into the office to give her a check for free paper. He also invites a member of the media.
As you can imagine, each one of Michael’s ideas are total disasters. Angela is very rude to a customer who ultimately cusses her out and hangs up. Andy is totally inappropriate to the high school principal after he discovers his girlfriend is a minor. Michael’s plan is the worst. The scene ends with the customer saying she is calling the better business bureau. Michael responds that he is calling the ungrateful “biyatch” hotline. The reporter who covers obituaries confesses he got “every word” of the exchange.
Obviously this show is classified as a comedy for a reason: it is knock-your-socks-off funny. But what do you do when a real crisis hits, reach out to a business attorney Tulsa. Maybe you send out a vehicle that is not properly prepared and is involved in a major accident. Maybe one of your technicians had a bad day and did not follow the exact instructions for assembling a product, causing injury.
Let me give you an example of a case from my days as a litigator before I was a business attorney Tulsa. One famous case that mediators love to use in mediation is a very tragic case involving medical malpractice. During surgery, a local doctor instructed a nurse to get him a bag of blood. The nurse was having a bad day. Rather than warm the blood properly, she tossed the bag into the microwave. This sudden, high-intensity heat caused deadly levels of potassium to release from the donated blood. The blood transfusion killed the patient. At trial, the business attorney Tulsa representing the family of the deceased upset the jury so much they awarded zero dollars to the family. The case later settled during a legal malpractice case. But this real-life example is illustrative of what we can learn during a crisis.
Here are my recommendations for how to handle a crisis.
First, make sure that whatever emergency response personnel are needed are on their way immediately. Safety is the number one priority. If someone is hurt and fighting for their life, you want to make sure that you do everything in your power to get that person the help they need.
Second, contact human resources and your business attorney Tulsa counsel immediately. You want your “first responders” on the ground and investigating. Time is of the essence. If the incident involves a commercial truck, contact your insurance company as they may want to immediately have their counsel on the scene with an expert. I once attended a continuing legal education seminar where I learned that one such insurance defense business attorney Tulsa had a list of people he would call in the middle of the night when he learned about a semi wreck case. Most semi wreck cases involve catastrophic injury or death. It is important to have the right people on the ground from day one collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, taking pictures, and getting written statements. It could be years before the trial. You want to lock in the information immediately when it is fresh on the minds of those who witnessed the event.
Third, preserve everything. When I represented Plaintiffs, the first letter I sent was a letter of representation to whomever was on the other side. The second letter I sent was something we called a spoliation or mandatory evidence preservation letter. We sent the spoliation letter directly to the defendants and copied the insurance companies/insurance defense business attorney Tulsa. Our rationale for this was simple. We were essentially “setting them up.” If something important was not preserved intentionally or negligently stored, we could file a spoliation motion with the judge. The remedies from those scenarios can be very powerful for your case. Trust me, you do not want to be in a spoliation situation. That exposes you to even more liability and makes a plaintiff’s case infinitely more valuable. So preserve everything. As a business attorney Tulsa, I recommend maintaining a paper file, a hard file, and some type of electronic data backup. The Cloud is one option or if you have some type of data backup system on your server. Maintaining three versions of the same information nearly almost guarantees spoliation will not happen.
If you wake up and find your world turned upside down, don’t panic. Breathe, and know that you will get through this.
If you do not have a business attorney Tulsa in your cell phone you can call, contact the RC Law Group. We are ready and willing to investigate the matter, assist with establishing a secure evidence preservation system, and monitoring any claim or litigation that follows the matter.
You may be more than capable of handling the situation yourself. In fact, I am sure you could. But why not have a business attorney Tulsa with the experience there to assist you and, if nothing else, comfort you during this process? It may be the best decision you’ve ever made.