Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Edwards - Vile Ambulance-Chaser?

The Republicans have rallied around a talking point intended to diminish John Edwards, the nezt vice-president of the United States. That talking point emphasizes that Edwards made his money as a personal injury lawyer - that parasitic species that exists only to destroy American businesses with frivolous lawsuits.

The Bush-loving Tucker Carlson chose to make this an issue, pointing out that Edwards "was a personal-injury lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases". Instead, Carlson thinks America should vote for a man who made money the American way - by screwing taxpayers with the assistance of his bigshot father.

Here's a little background
on that "Jacuzzi case" those "compassionate conservatives" are talking about:

"On a summer evening in 1993, David Lakey took his little girl swimming at a recreation center in Raleigh, N.C. Valerie Lakey was 5 years old, a good swimmer, and she and her friends liked to splash around in the children's wading pool that stayed open a little
later than the big pool where they usually swam.

That's what Valerie was doing when a nearby mom heard her call out for help. Valerie was sitting on the bottom of the shallow pool, and the suction from the drain was holding her down. David Lakey raced to free his daughter but couldn't. Other parents jumped in the water to help, but they couldn't get Valerie loose. Valerie was scared, and she began to say that her stomach hurt.

Time passed, and somebody figured out how to turn off the pool's pump. The suction broke, and Valerie was released from its grip. But as David Lakey pulled his daughter from the water, blood and tissue filled the pool. Valerie's intestines had been sucked out.

David Lakey slumped to the ground on the side of the pool. He held his daughter on his chest, praying as they waited for an ambulance. Over and over, he told Valerie, "Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you."

This account of what happened to Valerie Lakey comes from "Four Trials," the book John Edwards wrote last year as he prepared to run for the presidency. Edwards represented Valerie in a lawsuit against the company that made the drain cover in that swimming pool. A jury awarded her $25 million, compensation for a life of intravenous feedings and colostomy bags."

Would you trade your child's intestines for $25 million? Tucker Carlson might, but would you? How about if you found out that the pool-drain company knew that people had been injured before by its product, that the product could have been made safe by the use of two inexpensive screws, and that the company had thought about including a written warning with the product but didn't do so?

The Republicans want to put a cap on the recovery of children who have their intestines sucked out by negligent corporations - oh, a couple hundred thousand dollars ought to take care of something like this.

People like John Edwards see situations like this and say why. Republicans see injured little children and say why not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always said that deep down at the heart of conservative ideology is a heartlessness. So many conservative ideas, even those that seem at first to have nothing to do with compassion fail instatnly if compassion is injected into the situtation.

7/14/2004 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^that's me by the way^


You ought to get a new commenting system, let me know if you'd like a copy of the commenting script I use

7/14/2004 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so freakin' mad. Outrage dump. Thanks for catching this. I really hope I can go to hell so that I am sure that Tucker Carlson is there. If I'm in heaven I'll be wandering around, consoling myself that he's not there for all eternity. That would suck.

7/14/2004 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me also as having Tucker Carlson as Conservative Public Enemy #1!

He is the reason I don't watch Crossfire more often, cause I know to expect some deliberate partisan, shrill manipulation and deception that rivals Rush, O'Reilly and Hannity!

But, those polls showing Cheney should get dumped, prove something Dems can use against the 'trial lawyer' slam. No doubt Halliburton had a lot to do with Cheney's bad rap, and I nearly fell off the couch recently when I saw old footage of Enron's Ken Lay addressing the Republican National Convention!!

Who was John Edwards fighting against on behalf of that little girl?


7/16/2004 9:49 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


What do you mean with your question? Do you want to know the company, the lawyer, the law firm, or . . .

7/17/2004 8:48 PM  
Blogger LJ said...

Since you are using the emotional aspect to support your candidate, shall we go into detail about an abortion procedure? Is it not just as emotionally charged?

I'm sure you already know, but your candidates support it. They also support, at least Kerry does, the right of a minor to NOT notify their parents of an abortion. They have to get permission for aspirin, but not to kill a child.

Out of respect for your blog I won't post any excerpts but I encourage you to visit the site yourself. After all, we are concerned with the truth aren't we?

If John Edwards cared about kids, he would be pro-life.

7/29/2004 10:31 AM  
Blogger Dan said...


I'm assuming you agree with me on the tort reform issue, since you have moved onto a different issue entirely. I'm not sure how we got from tort reform to abortion (is it just that they are both emotional issues?), but, for my abortion views, please see the entry called "Kerry on Life".

7/30/2004 9:02 AM  
Blogger lj said...

It wasn't an attempt to change the subject. There are so many themes in your post it's hard to reply to just one:
1. Edwards isn't an ambulance chaser.
2. Edwards loves little kids
3. Republicans hate little kids
4. Tucker carlson is an idiot

My previous post was only to respond to #2 and 3 and your "injured little children" comment. Thus the reference to abortion, which you see as a separate issue, I do not. Kids are kids, whether pre-born or 9 years old. Even John Kerry said "life begins at conception." But that is another debate.
I will try to address the others now.
(By the way, I only agree with one of those, #4. If only for his lack of fashion style.)

The point of my post however, was to point out your dependency on such an emotional story to uphold your claim that because Edwards defended a little girl, which by the way I think should have been safeguarded, somehow means that his prosecutorial record is now unsullied or that ALL renumerations from his cases are now justifiable by the one.

"Would you trade your child's intestines for $25 million? Tucker Carlson might, but would you?"

As despicable as it is to receive money in return for a child's life, I'm sure you are aware that unfortunately our justice system recompenses through redress in a monetary form. What other way could the family possibly be indemnified? You cannot replace intestines? I know that sounds crude, and I mean no offense but trials conclude with such results. In this particular case, from what I know about it (which is basically the extent of your post), I don't begrudge him earning money on the case for his time spent.

As for Tucker Carlson, I don't watch the communist network so I didn't see him but perhaps he should have used one of Edwards many other cases (such as the ridiculous cerebral palsy case) instead of one with such an emotional story attached.

"The Republicans want to put a cap on the recovery of children who have their intestines sucked out by negligent corporations - oh, a couple hundred thousand dollars ought to take care of something like this."

Now Dan, you know that is just a reckless, unfounded accusation.

So I disagree that one case proves Edwards to NOT be a "vile ambulance chaser" as you put it. But as for Tucker Carlson, he'll have to vindicate himself.

7/30/2004 2:06 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

My main point is that Tucker Carlson is an idiot, and I think we can put that in the "proven" column. I truly wish that my accusation that the Republicans are pushing tort reform in the form of caps for non-economic damages was reckless and unfounded - but it's not. That's the truth.

As for getting emotional, it was Tucker Carlson who chose to dismiss this case as a "Jacuzzi case".

OTOH, perhaps my accusation that Republicans don't care about injured children was a little overbroad.

7/30/2004 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republikkkans most certainly do care about injured little children...as long as they're white, suburban children named Cameron or Chase.

9/04/2004 11:35 AM  
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