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Walter Umphrey

Walter Umphrey is one of the “Tobacco Five” lawyers who shared a $3.3 billion fee from the State of Texas tobacco settlement.  With his firm, Umphrey Provost, Umphrey contributed $1,191,924 to anti-tort reform candidates in 2010. 

According to press reports, alter Umphrey’s firm hired a company in 2007 to perform screenings for possible silicosis injuries of 161 people. The screenings took place at several hotels around Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, Provost Umphrey screeners did not “inquire of the patients as to their medical history.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found that they were not in compliance with several laws, including having a licensed health professional at the screenings. 1&2

“King of Torts”

Humphrey is one of several big Texas trial lawyers who has been called the “king of torts.” 3 A long time contributor to the enemies of lawsuit reform, Umphrey has contributed millions to Texas Democrats and trial lawyer groups.

In 2000, the Justice Department opened an investigation concerning some of former Vice President Al Gore’s questionable campaign solicitations during his presidential campaign, which involved Umphrey. A 1995 Democratic National Committee fundraising call sheet for chairman Don Fowler to solicit Umphrey read: “I know [you] will give $100k when the President vetoes tort reform, but we really need it now. Please send ASAP if possible.” 4 Clinton vetoed tort reform in the spring of 1996.  It is illegal under criminal law to link campaign solicitations to official government actions

Thomas Walter Umphrey: Total 2010 Contributions: $1,191,924

Footnotes:
1. http://overlawyered.com/tag/provost-umphrey/
2. http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2008/05/fine-against-x.html
3. http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/220259-appeals-court
4. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2000/sep/21/20000921-012050-2870r/print/