Elizabeth Warren’s erroneous claim to have tried to help women with breast implant claims when she represented Dow Chemical
My appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight discussing the investigations by Legal Insurrection and the Washington Post disputing Warren’s claim to have tried to help women with breast implant claims when in fact she represented Dow Chemical which was fighting any liability.
I appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to talk about Elizabeth Warren’s representation of Dow Chemical in breast implant litigation, and how she has not been forthright about her role. She portrays herself as having fought for the women, when the reality was quite different.
The Washington Post recently published an investigation that confirmed my prior reporting that Warren’s representation of Dow Chemical, the parent corporation of the breast implant manufacturer, Dow Corning, was not to help the women.
As WaPo put it:
When Dow Corning faced thousands of lawsuits in the 1990s from women saying they had become sick from the company’s silicone gel breast implants, its parent firm, Dow Chemical, turned to one of the country’s leading experts in corporate bankruptcies: Professor Elizabeth Warren.
Warren, now a Democratic presidential candidate, has never publicly discussed her role in the case. Her campaign said that she was “a consultant to ensure adequate compensation for women who claimed injury” from the implants and that a $2.3 billion fund for the women was started “thanks in part to Elizabeth’s efforts.”
But participants on both sides of the matter say that description mischaracterizes Warren’s work, in which she advised a company intent on limiting payments to the women.
“She was on the wrong side of the table,” said Sybil Goldrich, who co-founded a support group for women with implants and battled the companies for years. Goldrich said Dow Corning and its parent “used every trick in the book” to limit the size of payouts to women. The companies, she added, “were not easy to deal with at all.” ….
A person familiar with Warren’s role who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe litigation strategy said the future senator was part of a Dow defense team that had containing the company’s liability as a goal….
Shortly after The Post contacted Warren’s campaign for comment on this story, a lawyer from Warren’s campaign called Goldrich, the advocate for breast implant victims, to ask her to make a positive statement about the settlement.
“They asked, ‘Could I make a comment about whether the deal was fair? Would I say it was a fair deal? Was it fair?’ ” said Goldrich, recalling her conversation. “I wouldn’t say that.”
WaPo acknowledged that I broke the story:
That work surfaced when the blog Legal Insurrection posted a court document from an unrelated case in which Warren said she’d served in an “advisory capacity” to Dow Chemical “in the early days of the Dow Corning bankruptcy.”
For background, see these prior posts of mine:
- Elizabeth Warren issues incomplete list of cases (2012)
- Elizabeth Warren helped protect Dow Chemical against breast implant claims (2012)
- Elizabeth Warren’s implausible Dow Chemical claim (2012)
- Elizabeth Warren tries to get ahead of her law practice problems with pre-holiday weekend info dump (2019)
- WaPo confirms: As lawyer, Elizabeth Warren worked to limit Dow Chemical’s liability to breast implant victims (2019)
TUCKER: Elizabeth Warren often describes herself as a champion of the underdog. For example, in the 1990s Dow Chemical was hammered with lawsuits for women who said they were poisoned by the company’s breast implants. Warren was involved in that case and in her telling she fought to help thousands of women gain compensation for mistreatment by the corporate giant. Fits her story perfectly. But as it turns out, that’s not true. Just like her Cherokee heritage, it was completely made up. Warren wasn’t fighting for women. She was fighting on behalf of Dow Chemical, it turns out. Bill Jacobson is a professor at Cornell law School. He publishes the blog, which you ought to read, called Legal Insurrection, which first broke this story and he joins us tonight. Professor, thanks a lot for coming on.
WAJ: Thank you for having me on.
TUCKER: She has been very clear. I fought for women against Dow Chemical. What actually happened?
WAJ: That’s right, this first came up in 2012 during her Senate campaign when her legal practice representing several major corporations against consumers became an issue in the campaign. It was raised by Scott Brown, including her representation of Travelers Insurance, regarding asbestos workers. She on the eve of a debate released to the Boston Globe, a list of 13 cases she was involved in to try to absolve herself of having been essentially representing corporate America against consumers. But she conveniently left off one key case she was involved in, which was the breast implant litigation against Dow Corning and Dow Chemical, its parent corporation. I discovered that case and brought it forward and her immediate reaction was, as you indicated, she was trying to help the women get money, which was preposterous. She was representing Dow Chemical, the parent corporation of the breast implant manufacturer, which was vigorously fighting any claim of liability and she was representing them at that time and advising them.
So there was nothing to suggest that she actually was trying to help the women. There’s everything to suggest that she was actually fighting it. And fast forward to 2019, the Washington Post just completed an investigation which confirmed exactly what I was saying, which is that she was not attempting to help the women. She was fighting against the women. And in fact they interviewed people who were involved, said, who said that she was on the wrong side of the table. So this is another example of Elizabeth Warren not being, not having lived the life she demands others live. She vilifies big corporations, she does all of those sort of things. Yet she represented Dow Chemical and many others. There’s nothing illegal about representing Dow Chemical or big corporations against consumers. And certainly if she’s playing that role, she’s obligated to do a good job for them. But why is she portraying it as something other than was and why is she qualifying these corporations,
TUCKER: I’ll tell you exactly why, because Elizabeth Warren representing big corporations against consumers is like PETA running a slaughterhouse. It’s the exact opposite of what she’s promising. I mean it’s like a full inversion. It’s bewildering. And if it hadn’t been for your piece, I don’t, I wouldn’t have known about it and I don’t think our viewers would have either. Bill Jacobson, you’ve really done a service in bringing that to light. Thank you very much. Thank you.
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