[翻轉視界16] 孤軍奮戰的正義律師: 羅伯‧比洛特

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Have you seen the film Dark Waters?

你看過電影《黑水風暴》嗎?

The film is based on the 2016 New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare," which describes Robert Bilott’s case against the chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont after they contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals.

這部電影改編自紐約時報2016年的文章《成為杜邦最糟糕的噩夢的律師》,講述律師羅伯‧比洛特對抗化學製造廠「杜邦」的故事,該廠以未被規範的化學物質污染了一個小鎮。

Robert Bilott put his career, his family, everything on the line to win justice for tens of thousands if not millions of people. It is because of people like him, people who continue to speak out and take action against injustice, that our society continues to improve. Thank you, Mr. Bilott.

羅伯‧比洛特壓上一切,包括自己的事業、家庭,與為數達到萬人、甚至數百萬的民眾捍衛正義。正因有像他這樣的人持續為對抗不公不義發聲與採取行動,我們的社會才能不斷進步。謝謝你,比洛特先生。

Here’s a Times article that describes both the film and its portray of Mr. Bilott’s struggle to bring justice. I highly recommend the film.

以下是《Time 時代雜誌》的文章,介紹了這部電影並描繪了比洛特先生伸張正義所做的努力;我強烈推薦《黑水風暴》。

新聞報導: https://youtu.be/Tkkuil-U6qQ

★★★★★★★★★★★★

Rob Bilott, a corporate lawyer-turned-environmental crusader, doesn’t much care if he’s made enemies over the years. “I’ve been dealing with this for almost three decades," he says. “I can’t really worry about if the people on the other side like me or not."

•a corporate lawyer 企業律師

•environmental crusader 環境鬥士
•make enemies 樹敵、建立敵人

羅伯‧比洛特是位由企業律師轉變而成的環境鬥士,對自己多年來是否樹敵並不在意。「我已處理這問題近三十年了,」他說,「我根本不在意立場相對的人是否喜歡我」。

★★★★★★★★★★★★

Bilott used to be on the other side. The Todd Haynes-directed movie Dark Waters, tells the story of how the lawyer switched allegiances. As happened in real life, the movie depicts Ruffalo’s Bilott as a lawyer who defends large chemical companies before he is approached for help in 1998 by Wilbur Tennant, a West Virginia farmer whose land was contaminated by chemical giant DuPont. Inflamed by that injustice, and the complicity of local authorities, the lawyer risks his career as he embarks on a decades-long legal siege of one of America’s most powerful corporations.

•switch allegiances 轉換陣營

•depict 描述
•complicity 共謀;串通;共犯
•DuPont 杜邦(世界排名第二大的美國化工公司)
 
比洛特曾站在企業那一邊。由陶德·海恩斯導演的《黑水風暴》講述這位律師如何轉換陣營:正如真實生活中發生的,該電影描述馬克·魯法洛所扮演的比洛特是一名任職大型化學企業的律師。1998年,一位土地被化學製造巨頭杜邦所污染的西維吉尼亞州農民威爾伯·坦納特,向他尋求幫助。不公義及地方當局的共謀激怒了這名律師;冒著斷送職涯的風險,他開始對美國最有權力的公司之一杜邦,進行長達數十年的法律圍攻。
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
He works, at first, on Tennant’s behalf, then pursues a class action suit representing around 70,000 people living near a chemical plant that allegedly contaminated drinking water with PFOA, a toxic chemical used in the production of Teflon. In recent years, studies have correlated long-term exposure to PFOA with a number of illnesses, including some types of cancer.
 
•on behalf of sb/in behalf of sb; on sb’s behalf/in sb’s behalf 代表~;作為~的代表;代替~ ; 因為,為了~的利益
•a chemical plant 化學工廠
•allegedly 宣稱地;據傳地
•contaminate drinking water 污染飲用水
•perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) 全氟辛酸銨
 
他一開始先代表威爾伯·坦納特進行訴訟,之後代表約七萬名居住在化學工廠附近的居民進行訴訟,據稱該工廠以全氟辛酸(PFOA)污染了飲用水。PFOA是一種用於製造鐵氟龍的有毒化學物質;近幾年有研究表明,長期暴露於PFOA與許多疾病相關,其中包括某些癌症。
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
In 2017, Bilott won a $671 million settlement on behalf of more than 3,500 plaintiffs. Those people claimed they had contracted diseases, among them kidney cancer and testicular cancer, from chemicals DuPont allegedly knew may have been dangerous for decades, and allowed to contaminate their drinking water anyway.
 
•settlement 協議;和解(金);定居;支付
•plaintiff 原告
•contract a disease 患病、染病
•kidney cancer 腎臟癌
 
2017年,比洛特代表超過3500名原告贏得了6.71億美金的和解金。這些原告聲稱他們患病,其中包括腎臟癌與睪丸癌,是由於那些杜邦疑似早在數十年前就知道危險、卻仍然放任污染飲用水的化學物質。
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
In Dark Waters, Haynes emphasizes the seemingly endless fight taken up by Bilott, as DuPont brings its considerable resources to bear to defend itself over the course of two decades. According to one analyst, the film’s potential to raise awareness about these issues could have a serious effect on some chemical companies’ bottom lines. But for the real Rob Bilott, the work of taking the industry to court is far from over. In October 2018, the lawyer filed a new lawsuit against several companies, including 3M, Arkema, and Chemours, a manufacturer spun off from DuPont in 2015. That ongoing case is seeking class action status, and was initially brought on behalf of Kevin Hardwick, a firefighting veteran of 40 years who used fire-suppression foams and firefighting equipment containing a class of chemicals known as PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFOA is one type of PFAS chemical).
 
•seemingly endless fight 看似永無止境的鬥爭
•considerable resources 為數可觀、相當多的資源
•raise awareness about… 激發對~的警覺
•far from over 遠遠不夠
•file a lawsuit 提起新訴訟
•seek class action status 尋求集體訴訟(派一方代表訴訟)地位
•polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) 全氟烷基物質(廣泛被用來作為表面塗料,不易分解、會產生污染)
 
在《黑水風暴》中,海恩斯強調那些比洛特所參與的看似是個永無止盡的鬥爭,因為杜邦二十多年來動用可觀的資源來為自身辯護。根據一位分析師,本電影可能激發大眾對此類議題的警覺,或是將對一些化學公司的利潤帶來嚴重影響。但對真正的羅伯‧比洛特而言,僅將杜邦送上法庭遠遠不夠。2018年10月,這位律師針對好幾家公司提起新訴訟,對象包括3M、阿科瑪與2015年從杜邦拆分出來的製造公司科慕。這起進行中的訴訟案正尋求集體訴訟地位,而該案件初始是為凱文.哈德沃克提起的,一位有40年經驗的消防員,他長期使用一種含全氟烷基物質(PFAS)或多氟烷基(polyfluoroalkyl)物質的滅火泡沫與消防器材。(註:PFOA是一種 PFAS化學物。)
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
PFAS chemicals are used in products ranging from waterproof jackets to shaving cream, and they can leach into water supplies in areas where they are disposed of or used in fire suppression (in particular on military bases, where they have been used for years). According to Bilott’s complaint, studies currently suggest that PFAS is present in the blood of around 99% of Americans. The class of chemicals has broadly been linked to immune system disruption, while PFOA specifically has been found to be associated with cancers and other diseases. Bilott’s newest lawsuit, as with his prior cases, alleges that these companies knew for decades that PFAS chemicals, specifically PFOA, could be linked to serious health problems, and that they still assured the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other U.S. government regulators that PFAS exposures were harmless.
 
•range from…to… 從~到~
•leach into 過濾、滲入
•water supply 供水,給水
•be linked to 與~有關
•be associated with 與~相關
•assure 保證
•government regulators 政府監管、立法單位
•exposure (n.) 暴露
 
PFAS化學物質應用廣泛,從防水夾克到刮鬍泡,而他們可以滲入可能或被用於滅火的地區的供水之中(尤其在軍中,這種物質被使用多年)。據比洛特控訴,目前研究顯示,約99%的美國人血液中有PFAS存在。這種化學物質與免疫系統遭破壞有關,而PFOA則被發現跟癌症與其他疾病相關。比洛特最新的訴訟一如先前的案件,宣稱這些公司數十年來都知道PFAS化學物質,尤其是PFOA可能與重大健康問題相關,但他們仍舊向環保局與其他美國政府監管單位保證,說 PFAS的暴露是無害的。
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
“What we’re hearing once again from those companies that put those chemicals out there, knowing that they would get into the environment and into our blood, is that there’s insufficient evidence to show that they present risks to humans who are exposed," explains Bilott. “These companies are going to sit back and say, we’re entitled to…use you as guinea pigs, yet those of you who are exposed are somehow the ones who are going to have to prove what these ‘chemicals’ do to you."
 
•insufficient evidence 證據不足
•present risks 存在危險
•a guinea pig(通常用於測試藥效的)實驗對象,供做實驗的人 ; 豚鼠,天竺鼠
 
「我們又再次耳聞這些公司,明知那些化學製品會流入環境並進入我們的血液,卻仍將其暴露在環境裡,並宣稱沒有足夠證據證明暴露的化學物質將置人類於風險之中,」比洛特解釋道,「這些公司坐視不理並說,他們有權將人們當成實驗對象,而你們這些暴露在化學物質中的人,卻將證實那些化學物質會對造成什麼影響。」
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
“If we can’t get where we need to go to protect people through our regulatory channels, through our legislative process, then unfortunately what we have left is our legal process," says Bilott. “If that’s what it takes to get people the information they need and to protect people, we’re willing to do it."
 
•regulatory channels 管制途徑
•legislative process 立法程序
 
「如果我們無法透過管制途徑、立法程序來保護人們,那麼不幸的是,我們只剩下法律程序,」比洛特表示,「如果這就是讓人們得到所需要的資訊、保護人們所要付出的努力,我們願意這樣做。」
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
Robert Bilott is a true hero.
 
羅伯‧比洛特是真正的英雄。
 
文章來自於《Time 時代雜誌》 : https://time.com/5737451/dark-waters-true-story-rob-bilott/
 
圖片出處: Cincinnati Enquirer
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
翻轉視界: http://bit.ly/3fPvKUs

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