A companion to the official Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign website.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Review of Four Trials, by John Edwards

First of all, this book is extremely emotionally wrenching. John is a compelling storyteller, and manages to work in so much detail about the people in his family, and the people he worked with professionally, that you are truly affected by the way things turn out for these people. Whether it is a lawsuit that could determine whether a child will be taken care of financially, or the path John takes from mill family to law school to fatherhood, John Edwards is truly well defined by his life story and the lives of those he encounters.

The trials themselves are quite riveting. Almost all of them have shown up in right-wing hate speech from time to time, like Ann Coultier. To pre-empt your emotional responses to these real-life cases, read Four Trials! Trial One is about a negligent doctor overdosing a man on Antabuse. Trial Two is about a negligent doctor and liable hospital that incorrectly delivered a woman's baby. Trial Three is about suing a trucking company on behalf of Josh, the 4 year old whose parents were killed in a crash. Trial Four is about a 5 year old girl who was very badly mangled in a ghastly way by a swimming pool cover incorrectly installed.

All of these cases have their specific details as to why they were cases that deserved to be argued, and Edwards obviously includes them because he feels their outcomes were just. It is about accountability, and putting people above the bottom line. If you can save a few bucks by telling your truck drivers they get paid by the mile but can only work 12 hours a day, you should be held accountable for the deaths of people killed in accidents by your speeding truck drivers. Edwards also argues in two of the trials that a hospital is not a hotel, and that doctors do make mistakes, but there should be adequate safeguards to prevent medical accidents and if there aren't, the hospital should have to pay for damages.

Ok so final review: A+. Definitely one of the must-read books for this election season. Finish it before Nov 2 so you can tell everyone you know about it.

My last commentary is, please think for yourselves in regards to the malpractice-trial lawyer hysteria being kicked up by Rethugs. Four Trials presents real families, affected by very real tragedy, and it certainly shows Edwards as a champion for those hurt by negligent corporations! Now if only he will bring the case against Halliburton and Titan and CACI and Carlyle for war profiteering and price gouging while our troops were incurring loss of life and limb for their interests!!