December 7, 2018
Attn. Barb Jones
Campbell Mithun Tower
222 South Ninth Street, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Re: Bar Buzz: Hell on earth in Twin Cities courtrooms, December 6, 2018
It was disappointing to see Minnesota’s preeminent legal journal provide any airtime to the self-serving and widely debunked Judicial Hellholes ‘report’ from the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) that was released earlier this week. The annual ‘report’ receives little attention from the media because it has become widely known that the report is little more than made up grievances (losses) by in-house corporate lawyers from the largest corporations and insurance companies around the country.
We would hope the Minnesota Lawyer wouldn’t post such a biased report without balance and context. The ‘report’ lists the Twin Cities as a ‘hell hole’ because our Attorney General had the courage to hold a large Minnesota corporation (3M) accountable for substantial groundwater contamination they have caused in the east metropolitan area. Forcing 3M to clean up this contamination and providing clean drinking water to thousands of citizens is a great result - the ‘hell hole’ is more rightfully pointed out to be the decades of poison in the water and no accountability to clean it up. Or the railroad and its lawyers who did everything possible to avoid responsibility for seriously injuring one of their employees by repeatedly lying, hiding evidence, destroying evidence and attempting to make a mockery out of our judicial system. If Minnesota is a ‘hell hole’ because its legal system protected its citizens and environment from unscrupulous corporate conduct, then so be it. We are a better state now and our citizens, the community and the environment are all better off because of these issues.
It is no surprise that companies would like to escape accountability for their negligent conduct. So, to call our State a ‘hell hole’ and create this bogus report attacking our judiciary for these items that clearly helped injured consumers and the environment is just one more shameful aspect of their deceitful actions. We hope a trusted Minnesota legal journal would avoid re-printing this drivel, or if you must at least expose it for what it really is intending to accomplish and provide a counterweight to its inflammatory and unfair rhetoric.
Rich Ruohonen, President
Minnesota Association for Justice