United States v. Park

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United States v. Park
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 18-19, 1975
Decided June 9, 1975
Full case name United States v. Park
Docket nos. 74-215
Citations 421 U.S. 658 (more)
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Burger, joined by Douglas, Brennan, White, Blackmun, Rehnquist
Dissent Stewart, joined by Marshall, Powell

United States v. Park, 421 U.S. 658 (1975).

This is an important case where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was able to pierce the corporate veil. The defendant, Park, was the CEO of Acme International. Park had failed to comply with a mandate from the FDA, under the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act, to keep conditions within his warehouses legally sanitary.

In the case, the Court found Park strictly liable for the unsanitary conditions that his company had created, arguing for strict liability under the rationale that the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act was a 'public welfare' statute. The Court concluded that as a welfare statute, the purpose was to prevent egregious social harm; therefore, the Defendant could be held strictly liable for the crime.

The Court held that if someone were to willingly be in charge of a company, and therefore its problems, then he or she willingly accepts the consequences of any illegal practices that his or her company or organization is involved in. An exception is made if the problem is impossible to fix.


Text of United States v. Park is available from:  Findlaw  Justia