I joined The Snyder Litigation Team in large measure, because of two cases, the firms’ cases against Exxon Mobil and Prudential insurance respectively. My starting date with the firm was over 3 years ago. Having left a large law firm, I did not appreciate the amount of effort that defense attorneys often put into stalling a case at any cost, until coming to the other side. Now I feel like I am with “the people”.
When I began here, our case against Exxon was on a similar track to that of the other group of plaintiffs in the same underlying matter, being represented by another law firm. That group of plaintiffs, though suffering damages from the same spill that occurred in the beginning of 2006, has had their case postponed several times and as of today is well over 8 months away from the earliest trial date possible (assuming the case does not get postponed again). If they are lucky, they will begin their months long trial some 4 years after the occurrence of the gasoline leak. While I am proud of the decisions made by this office that led to a more expeditious trial date and respectable $150 million dollar verdict, it gives me pause and empathy for those who continue to await their day in court because of Exxon’s successful efforts to put off its day of reckoning as to that group. While its’ anyone’s guess how that trial will turn out, Exxon has already enjoyed some measure of victory by avoiding justice and holding on to their money for this long.
As this office sets our sights on Prudential Insurance, our lawyers are facing the same obstructive challenges. Prudential, like most large corporations, appears not to want to win on the merits, but to avoid any accounting of their behavior for as long as humanly possible. By the time this case gets to Court, this, the largest insurance company within the State of New Jersey, may have succeeded in avoiding its “day of reckoning by almost a decade. I hasten to think of how our clients would have felt if they knew when they first discovered Prudential’s misdeeds, that they would be HOPING desperately for a trial date in the year 2010.
Plaintiffs lawyers stay up late at night thinking of ways to make the most effective presentation of their clients claims in court and it is sometimes frustrating to repeatedly run into large corporate adversaries who spend the vast majority of their time time and treasure trying to make sure the fight is postponed again and again and again. In boxing they have a name for folks like this…
Posted by Jason Timoll, Esq.