Though the story of the Democratic primary contest for a Presidential nomination is still in its early chapters: Senator Elizabeth Warren has established herself as a first-tier contender. Yet recent publicity over some litigation in which she was involved as a consultant for Dow Chemical in the late 1990s may prove damaging.
Headline-making class actions on behalf of individuals who may have been injured by products manufactured by giant corporations have proven politically polarizing in the United States. The Democratic Party generally takes a favorable view of the plaintiffs in such class-action tort actions, and so an accepting view of the role of their lawyers. The Republican Party does not. Republican Party primary voters on the other hand would likely be accepting of the role of the attorneys for corporate defendants, whose job is to limit tort liability: Democratic Party primary voters less so.
Warren worked as a consultant for Dow Chemical, which was a major stockholder of Dow Corning, which in turn was the manufacturer of silicone breast implants. Many plaintiffs, throughout the period 1984-’98, alleged that the breast implants had caused grave health problem for them; including, in some cases, breast cancer.
The Thing to Know:
There isn’t a lot that might be considered ‘scandalous’ to say about Warren’s work for Dow Chemical in this connection. But the very fact that she was working for one of the corporate defendants in an effort to limit its tort liability may well be held against her by the Democratic Party’s base.