Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ambulance chasing

Here in South Texas, lawyers are held in about as much regard as... Gee, I can’t think of a good comparison. “Used car salesmen” comes to mind, but that’s not quite right. “Congressional representatives” is close, but then most of them are lawyers.

One indication or the high regard in which they are held is that the number of lawyer jokes almost equals the number of Aggie jokes. If you’re not from Texas you may not know that the “national pastime” here is telling Aggie jokes.

Anyway, given that introduction, what I’m about to show you will come as no surprise.

Three days ago, on Thursday, the largest petrochemical plant in this area (and there are about 7 of them, my plant being one of the smallest) had an explosion and major fire when a six-inch pipe carrying polypropylene under 165 psi was struck by a forklift moving a trailer. The forklift was driven by a contract employee. He was maneuvering in congested quarters in an area where he shouldn’t have been.

Anyway, HERE’s the article from our local paper with a picture describing the incident. As you can see and read, it was bad. But it could have been a lot worse.

My little plant is nearly 20 miles away from the Formosa Plastics plant that suffered the incident, but we could see the huge smoke plume easily from ground level.

So what’s my point about lawyers?

I told Carol the evening of the incident, while I was feeling guilty relief that it was “them” and not “us,” that I was sure people from the surrounding counties would be lining up to file lawsuits claiming everything from smelling toxic fumes to cows that miscarried in the fields. That’s just the way of some folks. They view the big plants as a giant cash register, and if they are able to hit the right keys it will pop open and shower them with money. (Maybe a slot machine would be a better image.)

Well, imagine my lack of surprise to find, in Saturday morning’s paper (the same Victoria Advocate) THIS AD.

Does that qualify as “ambulance chasing?” If not, why not? Sure seems exploitative to me. If nothing else, the timing is certainly damning.



Michelle said...

Though I would consider taking legal action IF I was affected in any way, I would certainly be encouraged by that advertisement BUT I would never approach her to represent me. It most certainly does qualify as ambulance chasing. Good lawyers do not have to advertise in such a manner.

It is my humble opinion that the reason why so many people feel it is their right to sue, I think there should be laws governing the way laywers work. There should be an extremely high ethical and moral law which forbids lawyers from advertising in such a manner and for planting seeds into people's mind. The free-for-all way people these days sue, affects the economy in a big way. As I said - just my humble opinion. ;-)

schnoodlepooh said...

My father was a good attorney all of his life. They're not all ambulance chasers, but I admit it that there are a lot of them out there. What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? - a good start.

kenju said...

I can't get that link to work.

My daughter is a lawyer, but she hadnles commercial real estate closings (hotels and resorts)so please don't lump her into the shyster category.

Karyn Lyndon said...

Some call it ambulence chasing, others call it good marketing.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Don't worry, I don't classify all lawyers as... well, shyster works, I guess. In fact, there are wonderful, caring, honest lawyers out there. Just like, not all HR Managers are evil like Catbert! (I HOPE I'm not anyway, although if you asked employees at my plant you might get a variety of answers.)

Keuju, which link doesn't work? The newspaper article (first one) or the ad? They both work when I click them. Anybody else having problems? Am I setting them up wrong?