On Saturday, September 26, several members of the UMass Law community, including the entire Peltz-Steele family, Professor Scharf, and six students, traveled to Winstead, Connecticut, in the northwestern corner of the state, to attend the convocation of the American Museum of Tort Law.
The Museum, founded by lifelong consumer activist Ralph Nader, is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of our civil legal system and the Seventh Amendment's right to trial by jury. It offers displays of several artifacts from historically significant tort cases, such as a Corvair, the car whose poor handling inspired Nader's classic book Unsafe at Any Speed. Also featured are engaging displays of noteworthy tort cases, such as those involving tobacco product manufacturers' liability.
At the convocation, which preceded a visit to the Museum on the day prior to its official opening, visitors heard from not only Nader, but also historian Eric Foner, a curator from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington who assisted in planning the exhibits, as well as a lawyer and his client, whose husband suffered life-changing harm as a result of being hit by a drunk driver. The convocation also featured a performance by poet and performance artist Patty Smith.