Many workers who handled substance T in factories became seriously ill years later. We now know T caused at least som...

Avery on September 11, 2019

Difference between B and E?

Hello, I was struggling between picking B and E and eventually went with B. Can someone explain why E is the right answer? Thank you!

2 Replies

Irina on September 11, 2019


The passage tells us that many workers who handle substance T become ill years later. We know that T caused at least some of their illnesses. Earlier ignorance of this does not absolve T manufacturer of all responsibility. For had it investigated the safety of T before allowing workers to be exposed to it, many of their illness would have been prevented.

The author argues that T manufacturer is still responsible despite its ignorance because it would have prevented many of the illnesses with proper investigation.

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) Employees should be compensated for medical costs.

Incorrect. This is irrelevant, the argument is not about medical cost, but about responsibility in general.

(B) Manufacturers should be held responsible only for the preventable consequences of their actions.

Incorrect. This is not what argument is saying - the argument says a manufacturer should be held responsible because they failed to investigate whether T is safe and prevent the workers from being exposed to it and getting sick. Is it saying that manufacturers are absolved of any responsibility for any unpreventable consequences? Let's say the safety investigation failed to show harmful effects that only manifest years later, is the argument saying that the manufacturer is now off the hook? Not really, hence (B) is too strong of a statement in saying that this is the ONLY scenario when manufacturers should be held responsible.

(C) Manufacturers have an obligation to inform workers.

Incorrect. The argument is about whether a manufacturer should be held responsible despite its ignorance of the danger, not an obligation to inform.

(D) Whether or not an action's consequences were preventable is irrelevant to whether a manufacturer should be held responsible

Incorrect. The argument clearly says that the manufacturer should be held responsible for many of the illnesses could have been prevented with a proper investigation.

(E) Manufacturers should be held responsible for the consequences of any of their actions that harm innocent people if those consequences were preventable.

Correct. This principle supports the conclusion. The argument says the manufacturer is responsible because the illnesses would have been prevented with proper investigation.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Avery on September 23, 2019

Thank you!