Ralph Nader Shows  Why Tort Law Matters
Ralph Nader’s American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Conn., uses Roy Lichtenstein-style graphics to explain famous David versus Goliath lawsuits. Photo from American Museum of Tort Law

Ralph Nader Shows Why Tort Law Matters

If Salisbury, Conn., resident Tom Morrison’s new book, “Please Pass the Tort$,” makes you want to learn more about laws designed to protect the public, perhaps it’s time to finally check out the American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Conn.

The museum was created by Winsted native and four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who is most famous for his work as a consumer advocate.

The museum is on Main Street in Winsted and is closed for the winter until April. But the website at www.tortmuseum.org offers a virtual tour through the history of some of the most famous law of wrongful injury in cases in the history of American jurisprudence.

The 6,500-square-foot museum is the first dedicated to the law in the United States. It is in the former Winsted Savings Bank and opened in 2015. Like Morrison’s book, it treats serious subjects in an engaging, friendly way, with comic book-style drawings that inform visitors about famous cases of individuals versus corporations.

Some of those cases  are vaguely familiar (the scalding hot McDonald’s coffee, the dangerously combustible Ford Pinto); the museum exhibits, all of which you can see online, explain concisely and simply what the issues were and how they were resolved.

However you feel about Ralph Nader and either his campaigns for the presidency or his strong advocacy for consumer rights, there is one thing that no one should ever doubt, and that is the immensity of Nader’s heart and his love for his Northwest Corner community. Nader has been unfailingly supportive of The Lakeville Journal and on many occasions reached out to help us in our process of converting to nonprofit status.

People sometimes scratch their heads and wonder why Nader thought it was a good idea to open a tort museum in Winsted at 654 Main St.  (across the street from the ambulance garage, which many people seem to find very comical).

It only takes one conversation with Nader to understand that his intention in opening the museum was 100% to create an institution that might conceivably draw visitors to his beloved hometown; and that would help regular citizens to understand that they have rights and power in the face of big corporations, thanks to tort law.

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