Summary Of The Hollywood Film A Civil Action

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The Hollywood film, “A Civil Action” is based on the Woburn Toxic Trial. This case was brought up in Woburn, Massachusetts when five children died from leukemia due to the contamination of water from three local industries due to trichloroethylene (Bair). Leukemia however, was not the only disease caused by the contamination. Other illnesses include cardiac arrhythmias and neurological and immune system disorders (Kennedy). In 1982 a lawsuit was filed. W.R. Grace & Company along with Beatrice Foods Company were the two major companies that had allegedly contaminated two main wells in East Woburn. The case revolved around a total of eight families and three defendants. Children from seven of these eight families were diagnosed with leukemia …show more content…
One of these acts is the Clean Water Act, which, “establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters” (“Summary of the Clean Water Act”). The Clean Water Act was passed in 1948 when it was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The act was broadened in 1972 when it then began to go by the name of the Clean Water Act. Due to this act, the Environmental Protection Agency made wastewater standards for industries and standards for the quality of surface waters. Unless a permit was obtained, this act made it illegal to discharge pollutants into water due to contamination (“Summary of the Clean Water Act”). The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, (CERCLA) “authorizes the President to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances into the environment” (“Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Federal Facilities”). This act also goes by the name of Superfund. It was passed in 1980 and revised in 1986. The biggest effect that CERCLA had was on cleanup of dangerous waste locations and who was responsible for the costs of cleanup. CERCLA determines when Federal installations need to report releases of dangerous substances. This act also …show more content…
In my opinion, trials are designed to seek the truth and resolve conflict. I feel that in order for a conflict to be resolved, the truth must be revealed. In the movie, Anne Anderson wanted an apology from whoever contaminated the water and ended up killing her son. The truth would need to be known to determine who to get the apology from. However, the conflict also needed to be resolved to prevent future death and illnesses. Many scientific methods are used in court similar to how they are used with scientific data and such. The scientific method is used when it comes to gathering ideas,running experiments, forming inferences based on observations, and finally testing this. Expert witnesses, in my opinion, are sages. They are wise people who one would seek advice from. An expert is a term that alone is unlimiting. Usually, experts are very well educated. I would personally rather have a jury of experts than peers. This would be my decision mainly because if it was a trial like the Woburn Toxic Trial which involved science, I would want experts who would understand exactly what was going on rather than a clueless jury. As citizens, we have an influence towards the government. Citizens find problems throughout communities and from there, they look for a solution. Citizens do what they can so that these issues do not reoccur once they

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