book review: “crude justice” , by stuart smith

In his new book, “Crude Justice, How I fought Big Oil and Won,and What You Should Know about the New Environmental Attack on America”, Environmental Tort lawyer Stuart Smith takes the reader

on a journey through the toxic wasteland of the southern oil patch, where as a young lawyer with no experience and no money he learned how to go toe to toe with the big money experts and lawyers hired by the big oil polluters to protect their profits while damaging the health of the people and the land where they lived.

Now a wildly successful and wealthy lawyer who obtained a billion dollar verdict against Exxon, (later reduced to 200 million, still not pocket change!) , Smith is still involved in the litigation surrounding the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster from 2010. But long before the highly publicized BP case, Smith got his start against Chevron and Shell when subcontractors cleaning drilling pipes in Mississippi realized they had been exposed to off the chart levels of radiation without their knowledge for many years. The task for Smith was to prove what Chevron knew and when they knew it. The book reads like a legal thriller from John Grisham and Smith bears some resemblance in tenacity to the characters in those books by Grisham.

Smith is a jet pilot,a scuba diver, a world sailor and an extraordinary trial lawyer. His book tells the story of his first glimpse of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, as he was flying his own jet from Miami to New Orleans. The book is a warning to all of us that we have the responsibility to hold big polluters accountable to clean up their own mess and not have the rest of us pay for it. Listen to my interview with Stuart Smith on “Justice for All with George Yates” on You Tube or this website.