The King of Torts
If the Right-Wing Talking Point Muppets want to go after Edwards as an ‘ambulance chaser’, maybe the Democrats should put Valerie Lakey on the stand:
Of 50 of Edwards’s cases catalogued in North Carolina Lawyers’ Weekly’s annual lists of major verdicts and settlements, about one-third involved babies born with brain damage, which Edwards blamed on malpractice during delivery. About one-fourth involved people permanently disabled and disfigured in tractor-trailer accidents. In his book, “Four Trials,” and in his campaign, Edwards portrays these cases as battles for ordinary people catastrophically injured by medical and corporate negligence.
Sandy Lakey — whose 5-year-old daughter Valerie had three-fourths of her intestines sucked out when she sat on an unprotected wading pool drain — said she and her husband, David, interviewed multiple lawyers, and Edwards was her clear choice. After five months at their daughter’s hospital bedside, Sandy Lakey said, “He made me feel he was taking the burden off us.” Equally important, the Lakeys said, was Edwards’s readiness to go to trial. “The other lawyers wanted to settle, and we also preferred not to go to court,” Sandy Lakey said. “The case John made was that if this did have to go to trial, he and David [Kirby, his partner] were ready.”
Edwards won his biggest verdict on Valerie’s behalf — $25 million — against the manufacturer of the pool drain cover, which had snapped off before Valerie sat on it. Edwards showed that the manufacturer knew the cover was faulty, and had quietly settled a dozen similar evisceration cases. Valerie needed 12 surgeries, and faces a lifetime of costly medical problems, including frequent infections from a catheter that pumps nutrition into her bloodstream 12 hours a day. Her parents said the money was calculated to cover a lifetime of potentially catastrophic medical expenses for their daughter, who is now 16. (my emphasis)
Don’t let the ambulance smack you in the ass on the way out the door…
Bonus This Is How We Shoot Ourselves In The Foot Attacking Edwards anecdote:
One complicated example was Bailey Griffin, born severely brain damaged to a young chicken farmer, Christopher, and his wife, Ashea. A Charlotte jury found the obstetrician negligent and awarded the Griffins $23 million based on arguments by Edwards’s expert that Bailey would live 40 years, requiring total care. However, Bailey died at age 6. The Bush administration highlighted the award in a 2002 report denouncing what it called “the litigation lottery.” Christopher Griffin responded at the time that he did not feel like a lottery winner. “Every time I go to my daughter’s grave, it’s hard to feel that way,” he told reporters.