Law: Kings of Catastrophe

A little-known Minneapolis firm gets the largest Bhopal suit

During the unseemly scramble among American lawyers to sign up victims of the gas-leak disaster in Bhopal, India, the headlines were studded with the likes of San Francisco's Melvin Belli. But in a Manhattan federal court last week, when the government of India filed what could be the most significant of the Bhopal lawsuits, it was represented by a law firm that had not even sped to the scene. Its name draws a blank among nonlawyers: Robins, Zelle, Larson & Kaplan of Minneapolis. The choice, however, was no surprise to many in the legal profession. In the arcane field of industrial-disaster...

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