Motley Rice and its 9/11 cases

by Walter Olson on September 1, 2006

September 11 litigation as an industry, courtesy of the asbestos/tobacco zillionaires from South Carolina:

While other lawyers have resolved most or all of their cases — at least 32 of the roughly 90 total lawsuits have settled — Motley Rice has settled only three. …According to several lawyers and plaintiffs in the case, Motley Rice has made unusually high settlement demands, often 5 to 10 times higher than similar plane crash cases. The higher demands stem from Motley’s calculations for what it calls “terror damages” — compensation for the amount of time frightened victims knew they were fated to die — of between $750,000 and $1 million a minute, according to those lawyers and clients, who requested that their names not be used because the settlement process is confidential.

The story deserves a place in the “Not About The Money” files because client after client informs the Boston Globe that their litigation stance is entirely unrelated to that disdained cash nexus; presumably it’s just happenstance that they have wound up represented by lawyers who are making monetary recovery a very high priority indeed. Somehow one is reminded of the character in Flannery O’Connor: “Mrs. Hopewell had no bad qualities of her own but she was able to use other people’s in such a constructive way that she never felt the lack.” (via Lattman)(cross-posted from Point of Law).

{ 1 comment }

1 Pat W 09.03.06 at 5:26 pm

These plaintiffs seem to represent the ideal definition of “disingenous”.

What “answers” would they expect to find that the huge 9/11 report did not contain? And when has personal injury litigiation ever produced “answers”?

They and their ilk make me sick to my stomach.

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