I was at a funeral about fifteen years ago and I ran into an engineer I used to work with. He had retired but was still called as an expert witness regarding products he had worked on.
I asked him how it was going (other than the death of our mutual acquaintance).
He said he had just come back from a trial in South Texas where the company that used to employ him lost a case.
He was in a mood to share details.
Please note that even though I do not name The Company my friend worked for, it was at the time one of the largest, richest and most politically powerful corporations in the world.
"The people suing The Company were of an ethnicity that comprised about 65% of the population of this judge's area.
A family of two adults and eight children were in a station wagon on a feeder-road to a divided highway. They were at a stoplight when they were rear-ended by a pickup truck traveling in excess of 60 miles an hour. The driver had several times the legal limit for blood alcohol.
The station wagon propelled by the 5000 pound truck went and was extruded beneath the guard rail separating the divided highway. The guard rail shaved off the top structure of the station wagon and decapitated everybody but the infant in the child-seat.
The rolling station wagon continued into oncoming traffic and T-boned a semi. The station wagon ruptured the semi tractor's fuel tank just forward of the dualies in back and ignited.
The station wagon was not made by The Company.
The pickup truck was not made by The Company.
But the semi-tractor was made by The Company.
The judge and jury "found" against The Company to a tune of $20 million dollars."
"How can that be?" I exclaimed.
"The judge was up for re-election and it was projected to be a close race. The Company will appeal and win, but that will be after the judge wins re-election." my friend informed me.
When powerful companies donate to both candidates...
I have to wonder how much leverage special interest groups get when they donate to both candidates.
This judge clearly decided that appearing to give "her people" a gift of $20 million (even if it was clawed back by "those greed bastards at the state capital) gave her more leverage among the electorate than she could have gotten with TV ads...ads just like her opponent and funded by the same special interest groups.