No Patty Hewes
In the long-running series DAMAGES, high-powered attorney Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) takes on corporate criminals on behalf of victims of pension fraud and industrial poisoning. The fictional Hewes & Associates always represents the little guys, never the fat cats.
Elizabeth Warren claims to be on the side of the little guy, too: “I have been out there fighting to help protect people who have been run over by big corporations”, Warren insists. Except her lengthy list of clients is devoid of plaintiffs, instead comprised entirely of billion-dollar defendants, most who sought to avoid paying asbestos- and other toxic material-related liabilities. Everyone knows Warren is a bankruptcy expert. Few realize her specialty is helping big corporations hide behind Chapter 11 to evade compensating the people they robbed, poisoned or got killed.
The latest Warren case to be uncovered is the Dow-Corning breast implant suit, in which Warren states she “served in an advisory capacity to Dow Chemical in the early days of the Dow Coming bankruptcy.” Dow and Owens-Corning partnered in Dow-Corning (“D-C”) to manufacture and market breast implants beginning in 1962. In 1994, 240,000 women filed suits claiming a variety of medical problems resulting from silicone leaks.
A tentative $3.75 billion settlement was proposed that year, but a judge, finding that amount grossly insufficient to cover all the claims, ordered the parties to return to negotiations. Then, in May of 1995, D-C filed for bankruptcy, blocking any new lawsuits and “indefinitely delay[ing] settlement of existing litigation against the company.”
Warren’s “advisory capacity”, it seems, was to counsel Dow to protect its assets behind Chapter 11. Dow, with around $20 billion in annual revenues and $70 billion in assets, could easily weather that one settlement. But with more than a million women having received D-C implants over the years, Dow — facing accusations of negligence stemming from its original silicone research — had motivation to put a lid on the matter. A November, 1995 ruling on a D-C implant case, awarding a single plaintiff $14 million, gave further reason to follow Warren’s advice — sacrifice the child company to protect the parent. D-C now offered a reduced, final settlement of $2.4 billion, with a cap of $200,000 per claimant and as little as $650 each.
Richard Broude, one of Dow’s attorneys (and frequent Warren collaborator on bankruptcy cases) said at the time, “Dow Corning, like any independent company, is doing what’s best for itself. It doesn’t matter whether it has two shareholders or thousands.”
This bankruptcy-as-firewall ploy was was pioneered by Johns-Manville Corporation in the ‘Eighties to evade asbestos poisoning liabilities. Warren later worked for the resulting Johns-Mansville Trust. In addition to the token D-C trust fund, Dow shielded itself with a bit of legal chicanery — D-C would have to win a suit against its parents before it could pay out to the victims. This same trick was later used by another Warren client, Travelers.
Elizabeth Warren claims to defend women’s rights, especially on health issues. Then why did she help a $70 billion company get away with paying as little as $650 to each woman it poisoned?
In all of her extensive legal work, Warren has only represented big corporations. Her standard tactic: set up a token trust fund that pays a pittance while shielding corporate assets. Not once has she fought for the victims. Nor is there any record of Warren ever doing any pro bono work.
Warren is the worst of hypocrites, a two-faced liar who pretends to be on the side of the common people, but who really works for corporate criminals. Warren promises that if you send her to Washington, she’ll fight for you. But we already know she’s a mercenary for the plutocrats.
Do not vote for Elizabeth Warren. She’s a snake.
h/t Legal Insurrection for its diligent research.
(c) 2012 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.
First, Dow-Corning isn’t running for office. Second, there is a lot of controversy about whether there really ever was anything wrong with silicon breast implants, so use of language like “poisoning” seems a bit overheated. Third, she was a “consultant” not a regular counsel, so this seems like a bit of reach to tar her with that brush. In addition to being an expert on bankruptcy, Warren is an expert on economics of the depression and she was one of the voices urging Obama to hold Wall Street accountable for the collapse by imposing penalties on banks holding a lot of bad instruments, and engaging in similar shenanigans. That doesn’t make her sound like the tool of big business you are trying to portray her as.
You have something against Warren — it is the only time you send out one of these essays. Why not just come out and say what you have against her? Are you working for her opponent? If so, it is more honest to say so, than to present these oddball critiques based on tenuous flaws.
I don’t get to vote in your state any more, but if I did, you make me want to vote for Warren — you are making her seem like an underdog who deserves help, instead of the front-runner she currently is. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have a Republican senate, so I would vote for her if only to prevent that — no matter what her other flaws, which seem pretty trivial to me.
“You have something against Warren — it is the only time you send out one of these essays.”
FTR, I used to support Warren, until I began learning about her true nature.
“Why not just come out and say what you have against her?”
Well, I have, in three posts and in great detail, with supporting citations. In brief, I am appalled by: her pervasive mendacity, her brazen hypocrisy, and her long pattern of unethical conduct.
“First, Dow-Corning isn’t running for office.”
True. And an absolutely asinine non-sequitur.
“there is a lot of controversy about whether there really ever was anything wrong with silicon breast implants”
There is no dispute that asbestos causes Mesothelioma, yet Warren has represented — both as an adviser and as counsel in court — at least a dozen asbestos mfg’ers in their attempts to limit their liabilities. She also was counsel for LTV Steel in its attempt to renege on pensions & disability payments. She was counsel for Piper Aircraft in a case where Piper tried to shield itself from all future lawsuits resulting from crashes.
“she was one of the voices urging Obama to hold Wall Street accountable for the collapse by imposing penalties on banks “
Lip service. Warren’s Consumer Board has yet to indict a single offender. In each case, they let the criminal bankers off with a minor monetary fine.
“That doesn’t make her sound like the tool of big business you are trying to portray her as. “
Look again at her client list.
“Personally, I wouldn’t want to have a Republican senate, so I would vote for her if only to prevent that “
Would you vote for Chrissie O’Donnell if she was a Dem? How ’bout John Edwards — would he still get your vote? Where do you draw the line on unacceptable conduct? Apparently, nowhere.
Ahhh Tamer, always fighting the good fight in the awful Age of obama. Go for it!
I thought you’d put a smile on me, even at this despondent, dark moment, and I wasn’t disappointed.
We had our differences early on, and I was unseasonably rude to you — I apologize for that, sincerely. As you know, I grew to admire and really like you. Thanks for the great writing, the keen insights, the pithy comments, and the laughs. During my intended hiatus from the blogs, yours will be among the few postings I’ll miss most. Later.