The ongoing questions and search for the truth involving the deaths of eight children center around the questionable methods of disposal of lethal toxins and poison into local areas of drinking water. Whether the pollution truly caused the deaths of eight children can never be positively verified, but recent research has indicated that the rate of childhood leukemia in Woburn was four times greater than any other normal town of the same size. The actual Woburn case and the events portrayed in A Civil Action differ in several aspects, one being that the movie was further dramatized for intensity to the common movie-viewers.
The Woburn inhabitants living near the intoxicated Wells G and H accused Grace and Beatrice Corporation for the damage and pollution. However, Wells G and H receive fifty percent of its water from the Aberjona River, allowing a possible passageway for pollutants to wind up in local well water. MIT studies have lately exposed chromium and arsenic existence in sediments and banks inclosing the Aberjona River, contaminants totally separate and unrelated to the ongoing actions of Grace and Beatrice Corp.
Wells G and H have been further tested, and revelations are shocking. Deadly contaminants in great amounts such as magnesium, iron, TCE, arsenate, chromium, and bacteria have been discovered in these sources. EPA has uncovered arsenic in 1100 ppm in these well waters while it is outright known that more than . 05 ppm in drinking water is enough to kill five adults. Chromium found in 78000 ppm compared to the normal 300 ppm has thus far unknown effects but potential to cause immense damages.
Further tests have uncovered lead, a source that leads to anemia, animal hair, and slaughterhouse wastes around Wells G and H. Upon the devastating revelations of these deadly contaminants, Grace has reacted as "'one of Woburn's modern corporate citizens'" in response to these exposures, cooperating with EPA, as noted by the media. The plaintiffs in the Woburn case expressed grief and anguish over their lost ones, desiring an apology from who they believed to be the cause of the deaths, Grace and Beatrice Corp. They looked to Jan Schlichtmann to win the case.
Through nai?? veti?? , Schlichtmann accepted the case, aware that the case itself was denoted an "orphan case," meaning that it was essentially not taken by any other attorney. The plaintiffs wanted an apology, but Schlichtmann replied that in court an apology is served through granting money. Ironically, in the end the only apology given to these families was from Schlichtmann himself. A Civil Action touches further upon the interesting points of law. Robert Duvall who plays Facher teaches and exhibits ways to disrupt the flow of the opposing case.
Facher emphasizes the importance of objection in the courtroom, which in effect stops the rhythm of Schlichtmann's case, disabling the jury to fully grasp the concept of the case he presents. Through decisive and critical moments of objection, Facher is strategically able to undermine Schlichtmann's case, which ultimately wins the case for him. Subsequently, Facher questions the people, asking whether they ate bacon and other seemingly random questions in order to locate many variables that could have affected the townspeople rather than the supposed source of the infected well water.
Facher highlighted upon another point of law, in which he distinctively said to never question "why" unless you positively know for sure what the answer is. As an example of Schlichmann's inexperience, he questioned why to one of the company's employees, unknowing positively what the answer was to be, leading to a response completely different than what he had originally anticipated. Facher's experienced and calculated method of winning his case differs to Schlichtmann's nai?? ve confidence, which was shown as he consistently poured millions into his case.
The odds of winning the trial were slim, yet Schlichtmann was boldly defiant to accept various offers of money proposed to him. Schlichtmann's inexperience ultimately led to his loss of the trial. After losing the trial, the chances on appeal were ten to one against and longer, requiring more money which they certainly did not have at that time. In the latest research, studies support that chemicals and exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and other solvents increase the risk for leukemia.
Inhabitants in Woburn certainly do fit in this category, and these chemicals that they were exposed to may have affected several of their white blood cells, causing a negative genetic mutation in their DNA. The Woburn people under these conditions may have been affected by these toxins, explaining the abnormal rate of childhood leukemia associated with Woburn. As for how long these toxins have been around, no one truly knows. These contaminants, however, have been estimated to have been around Woburn for up to 65 to 80 years, leading to spiraling questions revolving around the unknown effects and numbers of those infected.