"I don't have to prove that it causes cancer," an attorney told the Associated Press. "I only have to prove that DuPont lied in a massive attempt to continue selling their product."
So reports Michael Fumento in this excellent report on the latest example of rich lawyers trawling for big corporate pockets to plunder. Fumento notes that two law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against Dupont, Inc., makers of Teflon, for $5 billion. Their claim: that a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, which is used in the production of Teflon, is dangerous to humans because it causes cancer in rats when administered in dosages just short of instantaneously poisonous levels.
The purpose of the tort system, of course, is to provide redress to individuals harmed by other persons within the society. And if anyone has truly been harmed by Teflon, they have a right to sue the persons responsible.
As the lawyer's comment above demonstrates, however, the nation's tort system has been perverted into a proxy for the criminal justice system: a means of punishing supposed wrongdoers through the use of a weaker standard of proof—preponderance of the evidence instead of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Frankly, abusing the tort system in this way is a crappy, cowardly thing to do.
Any decent judge in a reasonable system would throw such a suit out immediately. Unfortunately, that probably won't happen. Read Mike's account here.