There is a very interesting film screening right now at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, called Puncture. Without giving too much away beyond the published synopsis (although it’s based on a true story), the film involves a real David v. Goliath Texas anti-trust case involving the maker of a patented life-saving safety syringe, which was blocked from entering the market by another syringe maker and very powerful hospital buying groups. Ultimately, Texas attorney Mark Lanier was brought into the case to help and you can read more about it here and here.
Aside from the fact that Lanier plays himself in the film (and did a pretty good acting job!), what’s interesting to us is that the case was originally brought by a small personal injury firm because of the passionate concern of one particular attorney, Mike Weiss (played by Chris Evans, pictured here). It began when he and his former law partner, Paul Danziger, learned about a young nurse who later dies of AIDS after being accidentally punctured by an infected syringe, and whose life would have been saved if safety syringes had been used in her hospital. The movie focuses on Weiss’ personal struggles and I won’t give away the end. But the film, which was actually co-written by Danziger, is an example of the kinds of stories that trial attorneys come across if not every day, then at least at some point in their career. Why do we not hear about more of these cases?
Perhaps not every case is movie-worthy, but we know there are thousands and thousands of lawsuits out there involving attorneys striving for justice on behalf of ordinary citizens. If you know about one, please let us know and we’ll try to let others know, as well.
(And speaking of film, HBO has announced that the documentary Hot Coffee will premiere on June 27. More on that later!)