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The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought s uit against the coal company--and won
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The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought s uit against the coal company--and won [Format Kindle]

Gerald M. Stern

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Revue de presse

"A straightforward, suspenseful, and completely absorbing tale that will leave you cheering at the end."—San Francisco Chronicle“Jerry Stern's classic work provides readers with tremendous insight into the causes of the disaster. . . . It is powerful, troubling, and uplifting.” —From the foreword by President Bill Clinton“A shocking, timely book.” —The New York Times Book Review“A fascinating tale of how investigative lawyers work, intermingled with sympathetic portraits of the survivors of the disaster.”—Chicago Tribune“Fascinating reading. . . . An inside look at a history-making case.”—The Boston Globe

Présentation de l'éditeur

One Saturday morning in February 1972, an impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company burst, sending a 130 million gallon, 25 foot tidal wave of water, sludge, and debris crashing into southern West Virginia's Buffalo Creek hollow. It was one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history. 125 people were killed instantly, more than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 were suddenly homeless. Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue. This is the story of their triumph over incredible odds and corporate irresponsibility, as told by Gerald M. Stern, who as a young lawyer and took on the case and won.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  61 commentaires
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lawyering down in the pits 31 octobre 2001
Par G. Ware Cornell Jr. - Publié sur
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Jerry Stern's account of the litigation over the Buffalo Creek dam disaster ought to be read by every wannabe trial lawyer so that he or she will understand the tremendous creativity real lawyering, particularly lawyering down in the pits, requires.
The real practice of law requires vision and courage, which this book amply illustrates. Stern and his team from Arnold and Porter took on the near impossible case, armed only with the real tools of our trade, the words and ideas that form the arguments that shape the law.
And yet this is not just the story of courageous plaintiffs' lawyers, it is about the truly great defense lawyers on the other side, in particular Zane Grey Staker, whose tenacity and command of the language and of his case, gave the A & P lawyers a great and fair fight, and of the United States District Judge, whose role was not only to provide each side with "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" but who understood that proper case management plays a critical role in achieving substantial justice.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 There Are Good Attorneys . . . 14 mars 2003
Par Kelly K. Coyle - Publié sur
My Civil Proceedure Prof. assigned this to us over Christmas Break so we could become familiar with "piercing the corporate veil", which merely refers to the rare legal opportunity to cut through a corporation's legal armour and attack some of the meat and money, i.e. personal assets of the officers. This only happens when there is extreme wrong doing by those suits running the business, and if you want to know what extreme worngdoing is, this is the book that will lay it out for you, pretty as a penny.
I have to admit, I was dreading reading this book, as the holidays were a sweet time to escape the stressful activities of law school. So when "Harold", our WonderBread/uptight, D.C., in the process of divorce, Napoleonic law professor assigned this reading, I was not too thrilled.
But once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. This is the story that makes good people want to become good lawyers.
The story is about a coal mining disaster, a preventable, mind-reeling, man-made disaster and how a dedicated attorney wades through the litigation process, extracting painful stories from the survivors, and skillfully uses hard work, pit bull clenched determination, the legal system and a little luck to persevere over a greedy, thoughtless, and culpable corporation. I hope those guys fighting Enron read this.
A great read, even if you have no legal aspirations and like a good, meaty story with a real-life happy ending.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A horrible disaster 21 septembre 2000
Par Shawn Ayers - Publié sur
This was, I believe, one of the worst man-made disasters of it's time, and it is a shame that so few people have heard of it. It was, essentially, a man made dam built from slag refuse from a local coalmine that collapsed during a large thunderstorm. The resultant floodwaters killed scores of people in the Buffalo Creek Area, destroying homes and private property as well. What makes the tragedy so much worse, however, is the conditions the people were forced into before and after the flood. If you want to read a heartbreaking true story of tragedy, poverty, and the cold, uncaring face of Big Coal in West Virginia, then you must read this book.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Was Stern as Big a Winner as he Thought? 29 janvier 2000
Par P. O'Rourke - Publié sur
The premise of Stern's book is - "How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company - and won."
One of my civil procedure professors required us to read this book before our first year of law school, because it does an excellent job of framing the issues that a lawyer might face. From that standpoint, it serves as a good teaching tool. From a social standpoint, I also believe that the book raises valuable questions about the legal system and whether it promotes corporates interests unless there is a firm like Arnold & Porter that is willing to step in and undertake this type of representation. Too often, there are attorneys who view mass disasters as an opportunity for themselves, rather than as the tragedy that they are for the victims. But, on a professional level, although I think that Mr. Stern did a good job of representing his clients, at the end of the book I wondered whether he was as successful as he thought he was. Certainly, his clients were better off than they had been before his efforts, but given the fact that his law firm earned more than $3 million from his efforts, did his 600+ clients fare as well as he thought?
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 How law was used to overcome senseless mine failure. 12 août 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
This is a tragically true story of how a big coal company built a totally unsupported mine waste pile in a valley with stream running through it. The dam failed during a storm, flooding the valley and killing 125 poor people living downstream. This book recounts the lawyer's tale of how he used the litigation process to fight an incredibly arrogant and wealthy coal company. Not quite Grisham-esque in his prose, Gerald Stern still does a good job of telling the tale and teaching the lay person how the legal system works for the victims. If you are thinking of becoming a trial lawyer, or just interested in a how a civil suit is filed and moves through all the steps to trial, this is a great introduction.
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