Discovery

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Last Updated on February 20, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1348

Richard Aufiero is the first Woburn plaintiff to be deposed by Beatrice and Grace. The Aufieros lost their son, Jarrod, to leukemia, and they share the heartbreaking story of their son’s dying in the car on the way to the hospital. After Richard’s testimony, Facher believes he cannot win the case, especially if it goes to trial. He is deeply moved by Richard’s testimony and has seven more families to depose.

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Schlichtmann begins his own depositions, starting with Grace’s employees. They originally state they never disposed of chemicals on their property, but the EPA found several barrels which once contained TCE and other harmful substances. Cheeseman offers forth Paul Shalline, head of safety and maintenance at the Woburn plant. The deposition lasts two days, but Shalline denies knowing anything about improper waste removal.

Schlichtmann calls the Grace plant’s painter, Thomas Barbas, after hearing that TCE was used in the paint shop. Barbas admits to having dumped cleaning solvents into the drainage ditch behind the plant and to having told Shalline it was a bad idea. Shalline reportedly agreed to change protocol and put the substances into 55-gallon drums. However, Barbas is unsure what happened to those barrels. He says he may have heard rumors, but he didn’t see or hear of improper disposal.

Next, Schlichtmann deposes Al Love, a Grace plant clerk. Love admits to seeing the 55-gallon barrels being dumped in the backyard. Love gives the names Tom Barbas and Joe Meola, saying he saw those two men dump the barrels into a ditch. Since Love lives on Pine Street, Conway tells Schlichtmann to ask about Anne and his family. Cheeseman and one of Facher’s colleagues begin objecting to these questions. This upsets Love, who now feels compelled to tell Schlichtmann the truth. He agrees the water was bad in the 70s and that most of his family has birth defects or other health issues.

A week later, Love calls Cheeseman and tells him he isn’t sure which side he’s on anymore. He doesn’t feel Cheeseman is supporting his family’s best interest. Cheeseman goes to see Love at work and tells him he doesn’t believe the water caused any health issues, but Love disagrees.

Love’s wife tells him to go see Anne and tell her what he knows. Anne welcomes him with open arms, and they both feel much better after sharing their stories. Anne asks Love to talk to Schlichtmann.

The next evening, Schlichtmann is invited to Love’s home, where Love tells him the rumors he’s heard at the plant. Supposedly, more than fifty drums were buried on the property. Love also mentions a former plant electrician, Robert Pasquerilla. Love calls Pasquerilla, and he confirms that his supervisor, Frank Kelly, told him about the barrels. Shortly after the call, Pasquerilla arrives at Love’s house and admits to having thrown the waste in the back lot, as instructed by his superiors. He also states that Meola drained the liquid out back into the gully. He says that all such orders came from Shalline and Eddie Orazine. Schlichtmann asks Pasquerilla to call Barbas, which he does, but Barbas refuses to speak. Pasquerilla ends the phone call saying he will tell the truth and won’t take the fall for a plant manager Vin Forte.

With this new information, Schlichtmann contacts the assistant US Attorney for environmental affairs and has Love meet with him. After an uncomfortable meeting, the attorney says he will begin an investigation.

A week later, Barbas calls Cheeseman and admits to personally dumping the barrels with the help of Meola. Cheeseman is angry but understands that Barbas did what he was told and spoke out of fear. Cheeseman calls Schlichtmann and tells him what he knows. Schlichtmann deposes Barbas again, and this time, Barbas admits to dumping the waste and provides the names Meola...

(The entire section contains 1348 words.)

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