In the 1970s, engineers found contaminants in the local wells: Well H and Well G. They found suspected carcinogens including trichloroethylene (TCE) known to cause cancer. Families gathered after the Anderson family noticed the recurring events of a rare disease in a small town. Although Woburn had a history of industrial activity, the two major companies that contributed to the contaminants were W.R. Grace Co. and Beatrice Foods. The families sought help and went to a Boston lawyer, Joe Mulligan, and signed his firm. No one picked up the case due to not enough evidence, but Jan Schlictmann, who was a newcomer, picked up the Woburn case. Although advised to neglect it, he still looked into it. He joined with a non-profit firm who were seeking an environmental case like Woburn’s. They quickly filed a complaint against the two major companies.
After introducing the case, the companies attacked. Beatrice Foods hired a trial lawyer, Jerome Facher, to represent them. W.R. Grace Co. hired William Cheeseman and his firm to represent them. Cheeseman filed a Rule 11 motion against Schlictmann and the firm to end the case as soon as possible, but he refused questioning which led to having a hearing directed by Judge Skinner. Schlictmann then leaves Jo...
... middle of paper ...
... against Beatrice Foods and W.R. Grace to pay for the clean-up effort in the Woburn area which totaled to $69 million. Close to losing his sanity, Schlictmann ran away and attempted suicide.
• Boynton, Robert S. (1997). Jonathan Harr. The New New Journalism: Conversations with America’s Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft. Retrieved from http://newnewjournalism.com/bio.php?last_name=harr
• Horton, J. (1986). Sterling v. Velsicol Chemical Corporation. The Environmental Law Reporter: The Best Legal Resource On Earth. Retrieved from http://elr.info/litigation/%5Bfield_article_volume-raw%5D/20081/sterling-v-velsicol-chem-corp
• Asimow. M. (1999). In Toxic Tort Litigation, Truth Lies at the Bottom of a Bottomless Pit. Retrieved from http://usf.usfca.edu/pj//articles/Civil_Action-Asimow.htm
• Harr, J. (1995). A Civil Action. New York: Random House, Inc.
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