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Great West Casualty V. Estate of G. Witherspoon - Case Study Example

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Great West Casualty V. Estate of G. Witherspoon

The company requires advice on how best to address the problem in light of heightened media coverage and criticism. The memo provides a brief summary of the details surrounding the case, looks at the implication the case has on Great West Casualty and ultimately on Old Republic International. Finally, the memo will offer recommendations and an action plan needed to handle the situation. Background information Gertie Witherspoon was on her way to work on July 1 1998 at 4:30 AM when one of her tires on her automobile blew out and the car careened into a roadside ditch. With her car disabled, Witherspoon decided to walk along US route 71 near Adrian Missouri. Still shaken from the accident, Witherspoon attempted to cross the highway to reach for help. At that moment, two trailers, each moving at a speed of 70miles side by side spotted the small figure as she crossed the highway. The truck drivers tried stopping the vehicle but could not avoid hitting her and she died on the scene. In the weeks following the incidents, Mrs. Lang, the only daughter to Mrs. Witherspoon sought more information on the death of her mother. However, all she got was indifferent information from the highway patrol and the owner of the truck company. Frustrated, Lang rang the adjuster at Great West Casualty to ask for more information regarding the case. ...
Witherspoon. Five months later, Mrs. Lang received notice of a legal suit filed against her family for damages on the truck that hit her mother. Specifically the claim sought $2886 on the account of property damage caused to the trucks due to negligent actions of Gertie Witherspoon. The story first caught the attention of media in December 18 1998 when a journalist working for Kansas City star and an acquaintance of Mrs. Lang wrote a brief article elaborating the life of Mrs. Witherspoon. Mrs. Lang received the claim, as she was the acting executor of her mother’s estate. When the legal file arrived, Barbara Shelly, the journalist at Kansas City star wrote a second story elaborating the accident and the action taken by the insurance company. Wall street journal picked the story on January 15 1999 and reported it. This marked the beginning of Great West Casualty problems, as the journal capture a wider audience hence posed a threat to the future of the company. Discussion Mrs. Witherspoon just had an accident at the time she was crossing the road meaning she was truly dazed and not acting negligently as the company claimed in the lawsuit. Because she had suffered an accident, it would rule out claims of carelessness, as she was distressed. In light of these facts, it is probable that the company would not succeed in court. This is not taking into consideration the intangible and unforeseeable cost the company is likely to incur in the end in terms of damaged company image, which would far outweigh the damages demanded by the company form the Witherspoon family. Poor communication strategy: problems for Great West Casualty did not begin when Mrs. Lang went to the media. From the brief background ...Show more
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Summary

Name Tutor Institute Course Date Great West Casualty V. Estate of G. Witherspoon TO: Mr. A.C Zacaro, the C.E.O and chairperson of Old Republic International Corporation. FROM: management consultant DATE: April 24, 2012 SUBJECT: Memo on communication strategy regarding Great West Casualty V Estate of G…
Great West Casualty V. Estate of G. Witherspoon
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