The Case of the Living Dead Women
Mrs. Catherine Donohue lying on her couch giving testimony at the hearing.
Also present are her family as well as the lawyers and the arbitrator. My father is at the lower right.
To see the full story of this photo click on this text.
In January, 2009, my wife happened to hear a Public Radio review of a wonderful play.
These Shining Lives is
a luminous play about the women who worked at Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois in the 1930s.
Catherine Donohue finds work painting watch faces at Radium Dial.
These Shining Lives, which started a new run at the Raven Theater starting Ocober 25, 2009, follows the ten-year span between Catherine's first days as a
watch painter to her final days as she fought fiercely
though dying from brutal radium poisoning that painfully degenerated her bones.
She was the principal plaintiff in a lawsuit that sought to hold the Radium Dial Company accountable for its negligence. My father was the lawyer who represented these women - and took the case "all the way" to the Supreme Court. In anticipation of a revival at Chicago's Theater on the Lake this summer I finally decided to do something with all those thick, dusty, 70 year old scrapbooks down in the basement. This website carries the story from loss of their first lawyer to victory before the Illinois industrial commission. I hope to add to the collection as time permits. At the bottom of this page are links to other sources of information about the case.
If you wish to comment on this website, you can write to me at Len @ Lgrossman.com (no spaces).
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