Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Too long, but an important story of environmental pollution
am 1. Juli 1999
This is the story of 8 years of litigation on behalf of parents in Woburn, Massachusetts, whose children had died of leukemia. The number of childhood leukemia deaths had exceeded the rate expected in the Woburn area. Many residents of the community believed the children's deaths were caused by an industrial solvent, trichloroethylene, that two local industrial facilities had improperly dumped into the environment. The facilities were owned by two very large corporations.
The author, Jonathan Harr, relates the titanic legal and emotional struggles that attended ligating on behalf of the parents. The parents were represented by Jan Schlichtmann, a Boston attorney, who became obscessed by the suit. The two defendants were represented by high power legal firms. The trial was conducted in the court of a local judge, who is cast in the book as less than sympathetic to Schlichtmann and with the plantiff's case in general.
Without revealing the outcome of the litigation,the book makes a most valuable contribtuion to the literature on industrial pollution, community suffering, and environmental responsibility. It is therefore recommended reading. However, be cautioned that the book is long--indeed, too long by about one-third. Some of the legal details become tedioius, as does the author's narrative about Schlichtmann's tantrums and feelings of insecurity.