Shawn Leuthold: A Morality Tale.

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Posted by pancho from ( on Monday, January 13, 2003 at 3:55PM :

Shawn Leuthold walked by a dying child one day...stopped and asked what the problem was. Mother said the factory down the road was dumping pollutants and lots of kids had gotten sick and died. She asked Shawn for help but he was on a retainer to the company so he declined...for professional reasons. He told her it was the work of companies like that one that had made jobs and the security that allowed her to even get preganat and support a child in the first place, even provided limited medical benefits and a burial allowance...told her it was irresponsible of her to make unsubstantiated claims against the company and if she wasn't careful, these wild allegations of hers would be actionable...but he was willing to be fair and lenient and understanding...said he would talk the company into dropping any action they were then considering...if the woman would keep quiet and tend to her ailing daughter...whom Shawn felt the woman was neglecting in her single-minded effort to "bring down" a good company through slander and libel and fact, out of concern for the child and her welfare, he was even contemplating alerting the Social Welfare people who might be able to provide more "mature" and "responsible" caregiving...Shawn lived in New Jersey then.

Then the company was sold...Shawn was dropped and the next time he saw that woman, after her child's funeral, he suggested it was a great wrong that had been done to her...that he knew it now. Knew that the company had no moral right...and morals are important, to do what it had...and that he would take the case of the woman and her neighbors similarly afflicted on a contingency because he didn't really care if he got paid...just wanted to do what was right.

After he got enough people to save he went to his old employer and told him how they had been guilty of gross negligence and willfull disregard...that they had gone so far as to slander the good people of the town...letting it leak out that several parents had been negligent and endangered their children's lives by refusing to move away from what they now claimed was a toxic neighborhood.

Things went this way till Shawn was replaced by the good neighbors...and went back to work for the company. At a meeting between the company and the new lawyers for the good neighbors, Shawn took the podium, adjusted the battery of microphones and launched out on a brilliant explanation of International Shoes...Perferated lungs...Liquefied intestines and how these were all caused by egregious parental neglect...he scoffed at the families for their gold-bricking... their "actionable" attempts to besmirch the good name of a company whose president had several cars and earned each one.

A few months later and a turn of the wheel found the families disenchanted with the new lawyer. A heavy loss in another division of the company caused massive restructuring and Shawn had to be let go once more...and apply to be the representative of those same families, for now he had seen where the "right" lay all along...and he did too, until the families decided he was not for them...even though at a press conference he'd blasted the company for its callousness and cold-blooded attention to profits...its immoral pursuit of a buck , "at any price".

The case eventually moved on without Shawn...who retired a wealthy man having never had the chance to follow his principles to any kind of a conclusion...and couldn't profit by it any longer... and didn't need to.

-- pancho
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