We will collect information to write a story about Joseph Plant, who as a baby was exposed to a pesticide called Dursban, and was reported to have won upwards of US$10 million damages. This is based on a true story, but for this exercise we have changed the names of the family and all quotes from Joseph’s parents are imagined examples inspired by the real case. Quotes attributed to the corporation are accurate as reported.
The basic story: Joseph Plant was exposed as a baby to chlorpyrifos and another organophosphate, propetamphos. The manufacturer paid his family an eight figure sum in an out-of-court-settlement.
Value as a story:
Nil. This bare bones reporting does not have the power to move anyone. An equivalent in Bhopal terms would be, ‘Mukul was exposed to Carbide’s gas as a baby and lives in Nawab Colony. He and his wife and three children are all sick from drinking contaminated handpump water.’ This is not yet of any use.
What needs doing?
Expand basic facts.
Find a beginning, middle and end.