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LETTER: Chidiac column right on the mark

Re: Gerry Chidiac column, What happens when capitalism lacks a soul, (PG Daily News, December 27, 2020)

I appreciated this very good column. Powerful corporate entities can misuse the court system to the detriment of the public interest. One tactic can be causing constant delays that run up costs for any member of the general public trying to seek redress through the system.

I agree with Mr. Chidiac about this. I covered the courts for a cumulative total of about seven years. In one small claims case, a couple were seeking compensation for costs incurred from the constant breakdown of their vehicle that, because of a design fault, could not really be permanently fixed.

These were honest workaday people trying to get their concerns heard. They had arranged for a mechanic to provide testimony about the recurring mechanical problem. Not long before the court hearing that mechanic was called away to something and couldn’t attend. The couple arranged for another mechanic from the same repair shop to attend in his place.

The manufacturer sent a lawyer who called for that mechanic to be dismissed as a witness (with the resulting collapse of the couple’s case). “I don’t know what he’s going to say,” the mechanic’s lawyer explained to the judge. This kind of destructive quibbling and deliberately obstructive quibbling undermines the public’s confidence in the court system (and in the manufacturer who sent such a lawyer).

I commend Mr. Chidiac for this good column.

Paul Strickland

Prince George

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