A Civil Action: The Book

A Civil Action is a book by Jonathan Harr about a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the 1980s.

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1. A Civil Action: The Book- An Overview

A Civil Action is a book by Jonathan Harr about a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the 1980s. The book became a best-seller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. It was later made into a movie of the same name starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall.

2. A Civil Action: The Book- The Characters

The Characters:

The book is set in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the early 1980s. The main characters are the parents of the children who died from leukemia, the lawyers who represent them, and the judge who presides over the case.

The Plaintiffs:

The parents of the children who died from leukemia are the plaintiffs in the case. They are represented by attorneys Jan Schlichtmann and Michael Bailey.

The Defendants:

The defendants in the case are Grace Chemical Company and Beatrice Foods Company. These companies are represented by attorneys William Cheeseman and Charles Nesson.

3. A Civil Action: The Book- The Plot

The book centers on a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. The town of Woburn was home to two major employers, Beatrice Foods and tanneries owned by the Uniroyal Goodrich Corporation. These companies used chemicals that were known to be carcinogens, and over the years several cases of childhood leukemia were diagnosed in the town.

The parents of one of the children affected, Ann-Marie Frassoni, sued both companies. The case was taken on by attorney Jan Schlichtmann, who was determined to win justice for his clients. The case took several years to litigate and ended in a mistrial. However, after a lengthy appeals process, both companies were found liable and ordered to pay damages to the families affected.

4. A Civil Action: The Book- Themes

Torts- A civil wrong or injury other than a breach of contract for which the court provides a remedy in the form of an action for damages

Wrongful death- A death caused by the negligence or deliberately harmful actions of another person or corporation

Strict liability- Holding someone responsible for their actions even if they took all reasonable precautions

Negligence- A failure to take reasonable care in doing something that results in harm to another person

5. A Civil Action: The Book- Setting

The book is set in two different time periods, the present day and flashbacks to the late 1970s and 1980s. The present day is set in Woburn, Massachusetts, where the court case took place. The flashbacks are set in different parts of the country, including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City, New York; and Los Angeles, California.

6. A Civil Action: The Book- Style

The style of the book is very different from the way A Civil Action was originally reported. In the book, the story is told in the third person, which allows for a more objective account of the events that took place. Additionally, the book includes interviews with key players in the case, which provide insight into their motivations and thought processes.

7. A Civil Action: The Book- Reception

When A Civil Action was published in January 1996, it was an immediate best seller. The book was generally well received by reviewers. Some accused Lewis of unfairly attacking the judge in the case, Walter Skinner, and some criticized Lewis for not taking a stronger position on the issue of whether trichloroethylene (TCE) had actually caused the leukemia.

8. A Civil Action: The Book- Awards

A Civil Action won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

9. A Civil Action: The Book- Film Adaptation

A Civil Action is a 1996 book by Jonathan Harr about the family of a child who died as a result of asbestos poisoning. The book tells the story of how the parents took legal action against two companies that they believed were responsible for the death of their son. The case eventually went to trial, and the jury found in favor of the defendants.

The book was adapted into a film of the same name, released in 1998. The film starred John Travolta as plaintiff’s attorney Jan Schlichtmann and Robert Duvall as defense attorney Charles Nesson.

10. A Civil Action: The Book- Legacy

A Civil Action is a book by Jonathan Harr about a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the 1980s. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction in 1996.

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