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A Civil Action Book Essay Writing

Essay about A Civil Action

795 Words4 Pages

There are few things in life that could be worse than loosing you child to such a horrible disease as leukemia. One can only imagine having such a tragedy repeat itself throughout you community time after time. To compound such tragedies, imagine being poisoned yourself and having to fight some of the largest local corporations to prove the truth and get it stopped. This is the community setting for Jonathan Harr's true-to-life legal thriller A Civil Action. The book was an award winner for "Best Seller" in 1995 and was named the 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award.

The setting of the book is in the New England state of Woburn, Massachusetts. This is a sleepy little community that is overcast by local factories. The factories…show more content…

The W.R. Grace Company, Riley Eannery, and Unifirst Corporation were prominent factories in Wobourn. Jan speculated they were to have illegally dumped a dangerous carcinogen known as TCE into the ground, sewer, and water systems of the Woborn community. These poisons were thought by Jan, and the community, to have polluted two water wells that acted as a water supply for the community. Many of the people who worked at the factories experienced many medical problems such as cancer and died at young ages. Community members experienced numerous medial problems such as flu-like symptoms, memory loss, cancers, leukemia, burning eyes, and skin, and death. The water over the years was said to have gone from natural, to smelling, to dark and dangerous.

Though Jan put off the Woburn case for a long time, he took it thinking that a public interest firm would brunt the cost and workload. As it turned out, he and his associates had to take on the companies, and their prominent attorneys, single handedly. Even the EPA couldn't conclude a connection in the poisoning and refused to "help an attorney collect a settlement fee." As Jan became obsessive with the Woborn case, a reader is able to tag along on a host of legal battles put forth by the opposing counsel. Rarely used legal rules, such as "Rule 11", were put forth to destroy Jan and the case itself. This is further complicated by the trial judge, Judge

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Analysis of Jonathan Harr´s A Civil Action Essay

1157 Words5 Pages

Jonathan Harr wrote a compelling novel, called A Civil Action, on the actual events of a thrilling court case involving two major corporations and the families who were affected greatly. In Woburn, Massachusetts there were twenty-eight children who contracted acute lymphocytic leukemia between the years of 1964 and 1986. The explanation for the contraction of the disease and even the death of some of the children was discovered in the water; two municipal wells near the town were found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals. Eight families filed suit against W.R. Grace & Co. and Beatrice Foods Inc., accusing them for the contamination of the wells and the death of their children. The families only wanted an apology and the truth but when…show more content…

Jonathan Harr wrote a compelling novel, called A Civil Action, on the actual events of a thrilling court case involving two major corporations and the families who were affected greatly. In Woburn, Massachusetts there were twenty-eight children who contracted acute lymphocytic leukemia between the years of 1964 and 1986. The explanation for the contraction of the disease and even the death of some of the children was discovered in the water; two municipal wells near the town were found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals. Eight families filed suit against W.R. Grace & Co. and Beatrice Foods Inc., accusing them for the contamination of the wells and the death of their children. The families only wanted an apology and the truth but when the case began, discovering the truth became difficult. One prevalent theme found throughout the book is the conflict between finding the truth and the judicial process. The two are almost always incompatible with each other in the courtroom, and A Civil Action illustrates that quite well. The fight for the truth was taken over by trial tactics used by the defendant, whose goal was to keep the truth from getting out. It is natural for the plaintiff and the defendant to use tactics to create the verdict rather than using the facts of the case because both aim for success. Misinformation, partial truths, and hidden facts are common in the courtroom and one scene of A Civil Action shows how it can change the whole trial. People of the

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