A tenacious lawyer takes on a case involving a major company responsible for causing several people to be diagnosed with leukemia due to the town's water supply being contaminated, at the risk of bankrupting his firm and career.
Jan Schlichtmann, a tenacious lawyer, is addressed by a group of families. When investigating the seemingly non-profiting case, he finds it to be a major environmental issue that has a lot of impact potential. A leather production company could be responsible for several deadly cases of leukemia, but also is the main employer for the area. Schlichtmann and his three colleagues set out to have the company forced to decontaminate the affected areas, and of course to sue for a major sum of compensation. But the lawyers of the leather company's mother company are not easy to get to, and soon Schlichtmann and his friends find themselves in a battle of mere survival.Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
During the settlement meeting between the lawyers for the plaintiffs and the lawyers for defense, Jan didn't state the amount for punitive damages, only the amount for compensation. See more »
It's like this. A dead plaintiff is rarely worth as much as a living, severely-maimed plaintiff. However, if it's a long slow agonizing death, as opposed to a quick drowning or car wreck, the value can rise considerably. A dead adult in his 20s is generally worth less than one who is middle aged. A dead woman less than a dead man. A single adult less than one who's married. Black less than white. Poor less than rich. The perfect victim is a white male professional, 40 ...
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The producers wish to thank the people of Boston, Waltham, Northbridge, Charlestown, Dedham, Brimfield and Palmer, MA. See more »
Straightforward legal case with environmental overtures...
John Travolta gives a dandy performance as a cocky Boston personal injury lawyer who heads up a small but burgeoning firm, almost passing up on headline-making case of a major food company subsidiary found to be dumping toxic chemicals into the water supply of a small-town Massachusettes town, causing many of the children there to get sick or die. Neatly directed and scripted film from Jonathan Harr's factual book allows for both legal statistics and some dry legal humor, and avoids exploiting an emotionally-wrenching theme (the death of children) for hug-tugging sentiment. The film is direct and compact, pausing only occasionally for a dramatic character turn, and is handsomely-made if not terrifically entertaining. Travolta and nemesis lawyer Robert Duvall (smiling like the Cheshire Cat) are wonderful to watch sparring with one another, and the specifics of the case are intriguing. **1/2 from ****
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