(1934 - 2010)
Ed Swartz, a nationally known product liability trial lawyer and author of the seminal Trial Handbook for Massachusetts Lawyers, is credited with forcing the multi-million-dollar toy industry to more effectively deal with child safety issues. In doing so, Ed became known as "The Nader of The Nursery. He garnered national headlines with his yearly list of the 10 toys he deemed most dangerous. He appeared on many national talk shows over the years and was known for flamboyant tactics. At a 1997 news conference, he grabbed a Spider-Man Web Blaster and covered a toy industry executive with stringy foam. The executive later contended the incident showed the gun was safe.
Ed also authored many books aimed at revealing the hazards of dangerous products, teaching innovative trial techniques, as well as inspiring and imaginative legal strategies. His best selling books, Toys That Don't Care and Toys That Kill (Vintage Books/Random House 1986), forced an entire industry to become more safety conscious with regard to the distribution and manufacture of children's playthings.
Ed was also instrumental in obtaining a $20 million settlement of the 1998 Attleboro gas explosion case where a severed gas line caused a house to explode killing two workers. This settlement was remarkable given its venue in the Massachusetts county with the state's highest rate of unemployment.
Ed's skills made him a millionaire many times over. A 1990 story about him in the Robb Report, titled Robin Hood With a Twist, included tales of his Rolls-Royce, his Jaguar, and several mansions. Whenever possible, you could find Ed sailing his yacht the "Toy Box."