- Paperback: 415 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reissue edition (June 15, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226767531
- ISBN-13: 978-0226767536
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bending the Law: The Story of the Dalkon Shield Bankruptcy Reissue Edition
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Bending the Law is a must read for bankruptcy practitioners, and for anyone else concerned about the use of bankruptcy law to deal with mass torts.
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At this stage enter the figure of federal District Judge Robert Merhige - someone who would be called a strong judge by any standards. Merhige manages the consolidation of outstanding cases before him in his court in Richmond, Virginia and, when the A H Robins Company seeks protection behind Chapter 11 bankruptcy, also manages the bankruptcy.
The book is a real eye-opener as to what happens when a strong judge takes a certain view of a case. Merhige is determined to achieve a particular outcome and the combined efforts of the best plaintiffs' tort lawyers in the US are unable to prevent him having his way. Merhige has a hide like that of a rhinoceros - his skill and ingenuity enable his controversial actions, which many thought outrageous, to survive all attempts to box him into a corner or get his decisions overturned on appeal.
His opponents claimed that Merhige should have declined to hear the case on the grounds that he had a clear conflict of interest. The president of AH Robins Company was his near neighbour and the company was the largest employer in Richmond, VA - Merhige's home town. If the Robins Company went out of business there would have been mass unemployment in Richmond. Merhige, however, denied all claims of bias and blandly argued that every action he took was in the interest of the plaintiffs.
The book provides a fascinating look at how the workings of corporate interests and the legal system combined to override the rights of victims. It's a book to make a feminist's blood boil!