Meet Jim Ferraro, Read His Story
For Jim Ferraro, a personal injury attorney with a small, growing practice, taking on a lawsuit against a corporate giant DuPont was crazy. After receiving a call from an old college friend and hearing about little Johnny Castillo, a boy born with no eyes after his mother was unknowingly exposed to the chemical Benlate while innocently walking past a U-Pick-It farm in south Florida, Jim knew he had to fight for justice. He took the case, and over the course of ten years, successfully argued on behalf of his clients all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
Well on his way to becoming a successful lawyer but experienced primarily in personal inury cases, Jim Ferraro was approached by the Castillo family. Their son, Johnny, was born with no eyes as a result of his mother being exposed to Benlate, the most lucrative agricultural DuPont chemical on the market at the time. Several other law firms had refused to take the case, seeing it as a no win against DuPont. Financially, it made no sense to go up against the behemoth. As Jim listened to Johnny’s mother, Donna, tell her heartbreaking story, he couldn’t help but think of his own son who was the same age. Taking a case like this meant the possibility of millions of dollars in lost fees and endless hours of lost time to his small law firm. Despite the risks and the knowledge that no birth defect case against a chemical company had ever been won, Jim had to see it through.
“Sometimes you have to look at more than
the bottom line. The thing is, in law, as in
any profession, you want to do your best to
make a difference. At least I do.”
He spent ten years facing down every challenge from DuPont. And there were many. When all looked lost, he filed an appeal that eventually took the case in front of the Florida Supreme Court, where the case was eventually decided in favor of the Castillos.
The Castillo family was awarded $7 million, enough to improve their son’s quality of life and support his hopes for higher education. As a result of this life-changing experience for the Castillos and for Jim, he has dedicated his life to advocating changes in the legal system and creating new laws to protect us all from allowing companies from quietly slipping products onto the market that shouldn’t be there.
Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference.