A Civil Action Analysis

Topics: A Civil Action, W. R. Grace and Company, Anderson v. Cryovac Pages: 3 (849 words) Published: April 25, 2013
Priscilla Morales
Judicial Process M/W 6:25-7:40 P.M
A Civil Action Analysis

Jonathan Harr's nonfiction narrative, A Civil Action, tells the events, in vivid detail, that led to the nine year long case of Anderson v. Cryovac. Lawsuit which was brought about through Jan Schichtman, the lawyer representing eight families living in Woburn, M.A., against W.R Grace and Beatrice Foods. The lawsuit claimed that the two companies were to be held liable for causing illnesses and deaths to members of these families after contaminating their water supply with trichloroethylene (TCE.)

More than a tragic story of sorrow, death and family turmoil, Harr's narrative tells the story of how a lawyer and grief stricken families pieced together the pieces of a very complex puzzle to determine the cause and effect that such water contamination had on their personal injury matters. By depicting the work that epidemiologists, geologists, medical experts, civil engineers and public health specialists did over the course of the case, Harr instrumentally lays out the multifaceted sides of Anderson v Cryovac.

The story is told objectively rather than subjectively in which even the most minute technical and legal details are highlighted to paint readers a picture a chronicle of this case's long litigation. Every detail adds to the suspense that keeps the reader turning the book's pages to quench their thirst for more understanding.

Past each families' inevitable touching story, Harr shows readers just how the American judicial system doesn't work. Through the example of this mystifying case it is evident that the system of justice strays away from the truth and rather toward a contradicting system in which either side fights for its self without any interest in the value of its opposition. The interaction between the lawyers and between the lawyers and the judges depicts just how everyone is out to get each other in a seemingly flawed legal system.

The book leads...
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