Claiming Justice

52 MINUTES • 2000 • 4:3



• Co-production with •
RVU (the Netherlands)
Lichtpunt (VRT, Belgium)
Eye2Eye Media

• Also aired by •
YLE (Finland)
SVT (Sweden)

• Co-funded by •

Massive amounts of litigation and million-dollar claims characterise the legal system of the United States. The morals of this American legal trade are not undisputed. The popular image in Europe is one of clogged courts, sue-happy citizens and greedy lawyers. By taking a neutral peek in the kitchen, Claiming Justice uncovers the roots of what drives the American system. And of what could be in store for European legal practices in the years to come.

In the United States, high-risk-high-reward legal battles are as common as Big Macs. In this equation, ‘contingency fee lawyers’ are a special breed. No-cure-no-pay is the name of their game. They advertise at every corner of the street to find personal injury victims. If the case is won, the lawyer gets a large chunk of the pie. If not, his clients walk away free of charge.

But civil law suits are also soaring in Europe. And like Americans, European victims increasingly claimfinancial damages for their injuries.


Personal injury lawyers are flooding the European scene to help them achieve that goal. No-cure-no-pay practices are also rapidly seeping into the Old World’s legal systems.

Is Europe heading towards the American system? To answer this question Claiming Justice portrays two pending cases in the United States. Furthermore, one European and one American legal expert put this into a European context.

Carlos – a Honduran construction worker – got his leg mangled in a rock crusher. He will never be able to do physical labour again. His lawyer seeks a few million dollars in damages. Barbara – an anaesthesiologist – developed severe latex allergy from the use of latex gloves. She takes medicine but could easily die from any exposure to latex. Her lawsuit is part of a mass tort in which hundreds of latex allergy victims join forces in one product liability case.


Mark Aardenburg
Writer & Asisstant Director Jacco Kroon
Jacco Doornbos
Camera Christiaan van den Broeke
Oscar Pathuis

P.O.BOX 11765         •         1001 GT AMSTERDAM         •         T +31 20 638 5013         •         INFO@MOVIETRON.NL