Enter lawyer Jan Schlichtmann who accepts the case of eight families. My students were very frustrated by the ending. We use this information to create a better experience for all users. Rather than drown in helplessness, they could turn their grief to righteous anger against a clear societal wrong and, specifically, against Beatrice Foods and W. True story of a lawsuit against two companies charged with polluting the local water supply in a Boston suburb which led to several children dying of leukemia. He chronicles his time-consuming, laborious and horribly expensive preparation for what he believes will be a landmark case, sending a message to corporate boardrooms and netting the plaintiffs and himself huge compensatory and punitive damage awards.
The families of Woburn, whose sad narrative is told with great force in the book's first 50 pages, disappear almost entirely from the story once the lawsuit begins. Grace that knowingly dumped out carcinogens including trichloroethylene. Hubris and audacity are on display by many characters. The experts must be hired early just to get past motions to throw the case out of court. And youll meet his adversaries, foremost among them a crafty old trial lawyer, chairman of the litigation department at one of the biggest and most feared law firms in Boston.
Such an outcome is devastating to plaintiffs who count on the jury being swayed by human nature to err on the side of caution on the causation issue due to the obvious and awful effects of leukemia on its victims and their families. If these few dozen law firms all take a pass, it's likely the case would be thrown out for one reason or another or the case is just not worth all the expenses in terms of a potential recovery. One in a 50,000 might be able to go all the way successfully. Harr takes a different approach, starting his story with the actual victims of the toxic pollution before moving on to focus on the legal details. So I heartily recommend this for anyone wanting to read about the American legal system in process, or for anyone who just loves a great story.
So whenever they passed by each other, Maggie often never gave her father one look. See below for a link to the movie version of the story. From the start, one can see that Maggie is very driven to be successful in the lawyers' circles given she told her boss she wanted to take on the case because she is very aware of the company the law firm she works for represents. Civil lawyer Jan Schlichtmann takes the case against the powerful companies suspected of dumping toxic chemicals. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Perhaps, even Jonathan Harr did not fully understand the real meaning of the story that he very ably delivers. Grace, the deep-pocket corporations that owned the tannery and the manufacturing plant, respectively.
Eventually she gathers other families and seeks a lawyer, Jan Schlichtmann, to consider their options. It led to the deaths of children who became sick with cancer after exposure to said pollution. But children are diagnosed with leukemia and start dying. The author, Jonathan Harr, was a writer for the late, lamented New England Monthly, a magazine that spawned more than its share of gifted young nonfiction writers. Children are dying from leukemia. Civil lawyer Jan Schlichtmann takes the case against the powerful companies suspected of dumping toxic chemicals. The movie co-stars and as the leaders of two opposing legal teams.
Conversely, if one of these firms does take your case, chances are decent that some money will be paid by the defendants--after years of litigation. As the case drags on for months, houses are put up as collateral, cars are repossessed, life savings are decimated, and spare change found in a pocket or car makes the difference between walking vs. Besides the cancers, the children and their families also developed a host of strange ailments: rashes, fatigue, headaches, constant nausea. Serra is also visible during the funeral scene sitting in the back of the pews: he's the gentleman with the long gray hair. The sickness case was revealed as Leukemia, which is Cancer, and some people are very concerned about this case. The men are daring, or foolhardy, but they are so convinced of their position that they cannot be objective about the risks. This book makes the reader realize he or she must add this reality to the equation before continuing to support or disparage a particular political position.
Clearly, corporations do cause environmental harm, but this is not the whole picture. Yet it is also the story of how one man can ultimately make a difference. As well, the judicial process itself is often portrayed as skewed in favor of corporations, which have unlimited financial resources and high-priced, highly-experienced litigation attorneys. This book is perhaps some vindication, but it's also a wake-up call to all of us. Harr was born in Beloit, Wisconsin. Electronic versions of the books were found automatically and may be incorrect wrong. Highly recommend to anyone who likes suspense and a legal thriller.
My classmates almost universally loved this book; I hated it. His sister, Cynthia Lauwers, lives in North Andover, Massachusetts. Harr spent nine years researching and writing A Civil Action, which was published in 1995, subsequently nominated for a National Book Award, and awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award. Fast forward to the late 80's and early 90's when Schlictman and his crew try to find a link between very sick and dying people and the dumping of toxic waste which entered the ground water and well system of the town. In one neighborhood, East Woburn, the incidence of leukemia was seven times the normal rate.
A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall. In A Civil Action the emphasis is always on the corporations being entirely blameworthy for toxic contamination that harms the blameless citizens of Woburn. The pollution, as it would turn out, derives from two powerful corporations operating nearby Woburn called Beatrice Foods and W. And not just for the defendants, but for the plaintiff's and even--now here's the real surprise--for the plaintiffs' attorney. Indeed, because the phase of the trial where the families were to testify never occurred, they don't figure even as witnesses. It made a rather fascinating introduction into the law. Please review the types of cookies we use below.