The Bhopal Gas Tragedy|Business Ethics Case Studies
            

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy




Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts

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Excerpts

The Journey from Virginia to Bhopal

In the beginning of the 20th century, UCC was born of a merger of four US companies producing batteries and arc lamps for street lighting and headlamps for cars. By the second half of the 20th century, UCC had 130 subsidiaries in 40 countries, approximately 500 production sites and 120,000 employees...

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All's Not Well with the Bhopal Plant

Since 1980, the Bhopal plant had caused death and injury to many. In December 1981, plant operator Mohammed Ashraf was killed by a phosgene gas leak. Two other workers were injured. In May 1982, three American engineers from the chemical products and household plastics division of UCC came to Bhopal......

The Tragedy

On the night of December 2, 1984, during routine maintenance operations at the MIC plant, at about 9.30 p.m., a large quantity of water entered storage tank no. 610 containing over 40 tons of MIC. This triggered off a reaction, resulting in a tremendous increase of temperature and pressure in the tank...

Union Carbide Takes the Offensive

Following the accident, the GoI filed a compensation lawsuit against the UCC for an estimated US$3 billion. However, UCC felt that the GoI was to blame for the disaster. In December 1986, UCC filed a countersuit against the GoI and the State of Madhya Pradesh...

The Settlement

Within months after the disaster, the GoI issued an ordinance appointing itself as the sole representative of the victims for any legal dealings with UCC as regards compensation. The ordinance was later replaced by the Bhopal Gas Leak (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985...

Exhibits

Exhibit I: The Site for The Pesticide Factory


 

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