Negligence In A Civil Action By Jan Schlichtmann

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A Civil Action is a movie based on a true story about an epic courtroom showdown where Jan Schlichtmann, a tenacious personal-injury attorney files a lawsuit against two of the nation's largest corporations. He accuses, Beatrice Foods and W. R. Grace Company for causing the deaths of children from water contamination by the illegitimate dumping of chemical wastes into natural water sources. The first issue brought up in this movie is concealing or misrepresenting of the truth also known as deceit. Deceit occurs when an individual withholds or misrepresents information by making false statements with the intent of altering another person’s position on a matter. In the movie, Jan does some personal investigations after he notices that there’s …show more content…

A civil lawsuit is normally filed against those who are negligent in order to obtain monetary compensation for damages. In the movie, the two corporations are found negligent in their actions of disposing of waste into the town of Woburn’s water supply. As a result, Attorney Jan Schlichtmann filed a suit against the two corporations and used geological evidence, experts, and eyewitnesses to prove the involvement of the two corporations. According to the textbook, Elements of negligence are as follows: abiding by standard practice, the duty of care, breaching the duty of care, casual connection, and actual harm. The two corporations were supposed to abide by standard practice, however, by owning plants alongside the contaminated water supply, they both breached their duty to properly dispose of waste. The contaminated water supply then resulted in the death of little children, and parents had to bury their own children. Therefore, there is no reason not to have prosecuted the two corporations as all the elements of negligence are displayed here. Consequently, both corporations whether it was intentional or accidental, committed an act of negligence. Although nothing can be done to undo the losses, both companies must have apologized and compensated the damages …show more content…

This movie portrays attorneys and litigation process in a negative light. Although Jan Schlichtmann initially rejects the case, he reconsiders his decision after realizing that he is dealing with defendants with “fat wallets”. Anne Anderson and her neighbors only wanted an apology from the corporations and were not interested to obtain financial gains. Having said this, many attorneys rejected the case as they were not seeing any financial settlement. In the movie, Jan states, “a lawyer who shares his client’s pain does his client such a grave disservice, he should have his license to practice law taken away.” This shows how Jan believes lawyers should be, without any soul or sympathy. Jan continues, “the whole idea of a lawsuit is to settle or compel the other side to settle. You do that by spending more money than you should, which forces them to spend more money than they should; whoever comes to their senses first, loses.” This sadly shows how money matters more than truth in the litigation process. This and other unethical behaviors depicted in the movie are good reminders for civil engineers of the things not to do. After all, no matter how difficult situations might be, it is a civil engineer’s moral obligation to do what is

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