GERARDO J. LOPEZ
MODULE 2 - CASE ASSIGNMENT
BUSINESS ETHICS Dr. Steven Gold WHO GETS TO SEE THE E-MAIL OF THE DECEASED?
Justin, a 20-year-old Marine, described by his military friends as cheery, uncomplaining and always willing to take on tough jobs, was killed in Iraq on Nov. 13 attempting to defuse a homemade bomb. On Wednesday, after an Oakland County judge ordered Yahoo! to turn over the contents of Justin's e-mail account to his father, John learned there were more than 10,000 pages of e-mail messages and photographs on the disc. Ellsworth's attempts to get access to Justin's Yahoo! e-mail account drew national attention to the plight of a parent seeking to reclaim the property of his son, pitting e-mail privacy rights against the rights of parents or any loved ones who might want the final writings of a deceased loved one. But after seven hours of combing through the more than 10,000 pages of text and numerical gibberish, it appeared the CD that Yahoo! released did not contain any e-mails written by Justin, even those he'd previously sent home. "Maybe that's all he had, maybe that's all he did. I'm not sure what I've got in front of me," Ellsworth said, shaking his head and peering into the text on his computer screen. The family found their own messages to Justin, spam from mortgage companies and online dating services and a few e-mails from people his parents had never heard of. The family contacted Yahoo! on Wednesday night and the company is attempting to resolve the confusion over the CD. The experience left his father fiercely determined and Justin's stepmother, Debbie, disappointed that Yahoo! didn't simply give the family Justin's password. "That's the only way we would have had everything for sure. What are we supposed to do with this?" It had been a long journey to an uncertain and emotional end. The deciding moment in court earlier Wednesday had been brief -- Oakland Probate Judge Eugene Arthur...