Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Cheney, Halliburton, Edwards, courtroom deceit *UPDATED*

Over at Bittersweet, there's a good post on Halliburton and Cheney.

In the interest of fairness, here's a bit of info on John Ewards, from right here in my backyard.

Mr Edwards isn't well thought of here and there is little chance of the Kerry/Edwards ticket taking the state.


From the WashTimes: "...he pioneered the art of blaming psychiatrists for patients who commit suicide..."The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."

"And all of this for the little people?" he asked, a reference to Mr. Edwardss argument that he represented regular people against mighty foes such as prosperous doctors and big insurance companies. "How many little people do you know who will supply you with $60 million in legal fees over a couple of years?"

See this from FrontpageMag: "Because of the courtroom success of Edwards and trial lawyers who have imitated him, doctors who used to perform caesarian sections in six percent of births now deliver 26 percent of babies by C-section. The procedure adds enormously to the expense of delivering a baby, as well as to prolonged healing, pain and injury to mothers. And as ABC "20/20" anchorman John Stossel reported, the old rate of cerebral palsy among children has not declined in the slightest. This suggests that Edwards built his entire career and $70 million fortune on a wrong assertion, perhaps even a lie. The failure to do caesarian births apparently never was a cause of cerebral palsy; had it been, its incidence would have declined measurably as caesarian births jumped more than fourfold..."

From the NYT: An examination of Mr. Edwards's legal career also opens a window onto the world of personal injury litigation. In building his career, Mr. Edwards underbid other lawyers to win promising clients, sifted through several dozen expert witnesses to find one who would attest to his claims, and opposed state legislation that would have helped all families with brain-damaged children and not just those few who win big malpractice awards.

From AIM (Accuracy in Media): Jill Lawrence of USA Today reported that the Campbell girl suffered from cerebral palsy "as a result of hospital personnel ignoring signs that she was in trouble in the womb..." That's what Edwards wanted the jury to believe. The implication is that the doctor should have delivered her earlier with a Caesarean operation. But if he had, she probably still would have developed cerebral palsy because the vast majority of cases has nothing to do with what a doctor or hospital does during delivery.

Marc Morano of CNS News cites evidence that Edwards relied on "junk science" in the cerebral palsy suits. Adam Liptak and Michael Moss of the New York Times put it somewhat differently, noting in a story last January that Edwards was accused "of relying on questionable science in his trial work." They noted that, in response to the legal judgments Edwards and other lawyers have won, doctors and hospitals are increasingly using fetal monitors to detect distress and resorting to Caesarean deliveries.

It can thus be argued that Edwards and other "Learjet lawyers" have been partly responsible for a dangerous increase in Caesarean deliveries. The dangers of this procedure, which is major abdominal surgery, include infertility and bladder injury for women. If he's truly for women's rights, as he claims, Edwards should be asked by the media whether his record of dubious lawsuits has put women in more danger.

Kerry's pick of Edwards as a running mate was truly shocking to those familiar with his record as a first-term North Carolina Senator with no chance of winning re-election.

Article is here.

I've selected one of many articles describing Mr. Edwards legal career and his reliance on what many would call 'junk science' to make his fortunes-- going into courtrooms with the intent to deceive.

"The superstar trial lawyer accomplishments of John Edwards, which allowed this former millworker to amass a personal fortune, finance his successful U.S. Senate run in 1998 and catapult himself into the 2004 race for president, may have been partially built on "junk science," according to legal and medical experts who spoke with CNSNews.com .

Edwards became one of America's wealthiest trial lawyers by winning record jury verdicts and settlements in cases alleging that the botched treatment of women in labor and their deliveries caused infants to develop cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that causes motor function impairment and lifelong disability.

Edwards has repeatedly told campaign audiences that he fought on behalf of the common man against the large insurance companies. But a political critic with extensive knowledge of Edwards' legal career in North Carolina told CNSNews.com a different story

"Edwards always helped the little guy as long as he got a million dollars out of it,"said the source, who did not want to be identified.

"The overwhelming majority of children that are born with developmental brain damage, the ob/gyn could not have done anything about it, could not have, not at this stage of what we know," Goldstein added.

But some of Edwards' critics say that as a trial lawyer, he relied more on his verbal skills than the latest scientific evidence to persuade juries that the doctors' mistakes had been instrumental in causing the cerebral palsy in the infants.

Edwards' trial summaries "routinely went beyond a recitation of his case to a heart-wrenching plea to jurors to listen to the unspoken voices of injured children," according to a comprehensive analysis of Edwards' legal career by The Boston Globe in 2003.

However, Olson believes trial lawyers "have been getting away with an awful lot in cerebral palsy litigation," by excluding certain scientific evidence.

"[Trial lawyers] have been cashing in on cases where the doctor's conduct probably did not make any difference at all -- cases where the child was doomed to this condition based on things that happened before they ever got to the delivery room," Olson said.

"Despite the almost complete absence of scientific basis for these [medical malpractice] claims, cerebral palsy cases remain enormously attractive to lawyers," Huber wrote.

...Edwards amass[ed] a personal fortune estimated at between $12.8 and $60 million. He and his wife own three homes, each worth more than $1 million, according to Edwards' Senate financial disclosure forms. Edwards' old law firm reportedly kept between 25 and 40 percent of the jury awards/settlements during the time he worked there. "

But the recent scientific studies may make those lawsuits "scientifically unfounded."
Olson explained. He contends that the medical malpractice suits that enabled Edwards and other trial lawyers to become rich and famous are crippling medical specialties like obstetrics, emergency room medicine and neurosurgery."

As many in NC will tell you, Edwards went into court knowing full well his case was based on junk science.

Read the whole article here.

John Edwards played footloose and fancy free with the truth here in North Carolina.

He had no problem misleading the courts and juries.

Imagine the field day he'd have in the government Disneyworld that is Washington DC- and misleading the American people.

I wonder if he'd like to debate that tonight.

Unlike a courtroom jury, Mr Cheney can respond.

Wandering Mind

may not be suitable for political vegans