Pin It
Favorite

A Civil Action II 

& & by Jane Fritz & &





The story of Jan Schlichtmann's first lawsuit against W. R. Grace first became a best-selling book and then the John Travolta movie, A Civil Action. The movie tells the story about Schlichtmann's failed prosecution in 1986 of two companies accused of polluting the drinking water in Woburn, Mass. -- one of which is Grace. The case left the young Schlichtmann bankrupt and dispirited.


But now he is back for a rematch with Grace, this time relating to its vermiculite mine in Libby. He's counsel on a class-action product-liability suit alleging that the company's product, Zonolite Insulation, contains hazardous levels of tremolite asbestos. The product is estimated to be in millions of homes across America.


Schlichtmann was in Libby last month, at the Lincoln County Commission meeting when it was announced that a formal investigation would be launched into how -- and why -- the asbestos pollution has happened.


"The situation in Libby certainly gives a powerful window into how toxic this chemical is, and how it can wreak incredible devastation over many generations from simple exposures," says Schlichtmann. He also thinks it's time for openness and honesty on these causes.


"Literally, the community is choking to death on lies, and they need to be told the truth," he says. He adds that is the only way corporations and others will ever change the way they do business.


"The folks here understand the importance of sharing their story with the rest of the country, the rest of the world," says Schlichtmann. "And by sharing that story, hopefully people elsewhere can learn to avoid the same fate."
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Winter Scenes
  • Winter Scenes

    From behind our windows, we watch North Idaho's wildlife in its annual struggle with the cold
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • This Must Be The Place
  • This Must Be The Place

    Publisher's Note
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Say 'No' to Fear
  • Say 'No' to Fear

    Why Spokane ought to embrace its roots as an immigrant-friendly place
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
National Puzzle Day

National Puzzle Day @ South Hill Library

Thu., Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jane Fritz

  • Hello Bialy
  • Hello Bialy

    A rare Jewish delicacy appears in North Idaho.
    • Nov 30, 2011
  • Trees for Peace

    When she first heard that she had won the Nobel Peace Prize, she went out and planted a tree. Then, during her Nobel acceptance speech last December, she invited people everywhere to celebrate with her by planting trees wherever they live.
    • Jun 2, 2005
  • Storm Clouds Over Pend Oreille

    Soon after his arrival in Kalispel Indian territory in 1809, explorer and fur trader David Thompson recognized the intrinsic value of the Lake Pend Oreille watershed. His memoir, The Travels of David Thompson, written in his later years, inc
    • Sep 23, 2004
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Say 'No' to Fear

    Why Spokane ought to embrace its roots as an immigrant-friendly place
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Mothers and Leaders

    History often overlooks the women who powered the politics of the civil rights movement
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation