Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway filed for bankruptcy after the horrific derailment of one of its trains in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killed an estimated 47 people. A company’s accountability for a catastrophe can often be measured by the impact on its share price. These corporations - some more than others - were punished for their complicity in calamities.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment building in Bangladesh April 24, 2013.
Stock price: $41.51 (pre-event) $41.11 (post-event).
“I am deeply troubled. I am troubled that, despite a clear commitment to the highest standards of ethical sourcing, our company can still be part of such an unspeakable tragedy.” —Galen G. Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw
Maple Leaf Foods Inc
A listeria outbreak prompts a recall, Aug. 17, 2008.
Stock price: $10.99 (pre-event); $7.10 (post-event).
“Yes, this is a tragic situation, but we are a very strong organization. We have a strong balance sheet, a great relationship with all of our stakeholders. Challenges of this nature just make you stronger, not weaker.” —Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
The Exxon Valdez oil spill, March 24, 1989
Stock price: $11.28 (pre-event); $10.50 (post-event).
“I’ve been disappointed and angry since March 24, 1989. ...In the future, we have to be a lot more sensitive. [The $1.1-billion settlement with the U.S. government] will not have a significant effect on our earnings.” — Exxon chairman Lawrence G. Rawl
Union Carbide Corp.
Gas leak at plant in Bhopal, India Dec. 3, 1984 kills about 22,000.
Stock price: $48.88 (pre-event); $35.58 (post-event).
“We can’t tell whether it was human error or structural error. All we know is what we can surmise. Everything that could have been installed in terms of health and environmental safety was installed.” —Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson
Firestone tires recalled after being blamed for vehicle rollovers, Aug. 4, 2000.
Stock price: $30.93 (pre-event); $12.24 (post-event).
“We are sorry. If you say I should be responsible for that, you bet I am. If you say I am a fool, you bet I am. To take responsibility, it may be easier to just quit. But I think another way of taking responsibility is to try to rebuild Firestone.”— Bridgestone president Yoichiro Kaizaki
Menu Foods Income Fund
Recall of contaminated pet food, March 16, 2007.
Stock price: $7.40 (pre-event); 88 cents (post-event).
“[Veterinarians] identified that those particular animals were either outdoor cats or animals that may have gotten into the garage, the implication being that they may have gotten into something that they shouldn’t have and that was the cause of their death.” —Menu Foods CEO Paul K. Henderson (at right in picture)