Is your Business at Risk of a Maritime Litigation?
Many businesses fail to consider legal responsibility. A single lawsuit against a business can cause it to go into bankruptcy and to eventually, close down. If you are in the industrial or manufacturing industry, it is important to have high quality legal representation. There has been a lot of media publicity and community involvement in pushing for more environmentally responsible businesses. A maritime litigation case often involves charges against a business for either intentional or unintentional environmental pollution.
The importance of environmental responsibility
Most businesses are aware of their fiduciary responsibility when it comes to environmental protection. If you are a business that produces or works with harmful contaminants, for example, you are regulated on how to properly dispose of those products. Ignoring or being unaware of these regulations can get you into federal trouble and can leave you at risk of maritime litigation. Eventually, you might find yourself in the middle of bankruptcy cases also, especially if you do not handle the maritime litigations properly.
Environmental responsibility is crucial to protect our environment. We could save approximately 5,000 lives per year and prevent thousands of cases of respiratory and heart disease by reducing toxic air pollution from industrial plants. The problem is that many businesses do not realize to the full extent, the harm that they are putting on the environment and the reduction of local air quality.
How maritime litigation cases are created
Most businesses do not realize they are doing something illegal when it comes to environmental responsibility until they are faced with maritime litigation. At this point, it is too late to make changes to avoid high penalties. More than 40% of Americans are worried about indoor and outdoor air quality, carbon emissions, tropospheric ozone, particulate matter, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, radon, refrigerants, and methane emission. Consumers and local residents are constantly evaluating the environmental health of the area that they live in. If they identify that a business is causing too much harm, they are likely to first file class actions in the form of maritime litigation. Even settling with these local consumers can put a significant financial strain on the business.
The possibility of criminal justice charges
In some commercial cases, criminal justice charges can also be possible. If the business was already previously notified of illegal environmental acts and they continue to practice unsafe disposal of contaminants, they can risk criminal charges. Additionally, even unintentional disposal of dangerous contaminants that harm local waterways and residents can result in criminal charges. Criminal charges at the commercial business setting can be especially troublesome for the success of the business. They might lose their license to operate and might be forced to move to an industrial area, where things like increased rent and taxes could ruin the businesses profits.
The increased attention around water quality
It seems that water quality is the primary concern for many environmentalists today. Both water quality and air quality are important to consider, however. Currently, more than one third of all counties in the lower 48 states will face higher risks of water shortages by mid century as a result of global warming. When local commercial businesses are also affecting the water quality, it could cause this shortage to occur much sooner.
Businesses have a responsibility to environmental health. They are also responsible for the emissions and contaminants that they put out into local communities. Not being aware of these regulations and proper safety protocols can leave a large commercial business in bug trouble. When facing a maritime litigation, the business can be faced with severe fines, the inability to achieve licensing, and even bankruptcy.