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.
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