The future American Museum of Tort Law is nearly ready to be opened to the public.
O&G Industries has recently finished renovating the space in which it will be housed, the former Winsted Savings Bank at 654 Main St., by including new interior finishes, restrooms and upgrading the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems within the 6,500-square-foot building, according to a release.
“The goal of the project was to transform the space into a modern museum with interactive displays and a video viewing area that highlights precedent setting cases,” said O&G Vice President Aaron Mednick in the release.
The exhibits it will include have been designed by Eisterhold Associates, a firm that has also lent its efforts to a number of museums across the nation, including the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center at the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.
Exhibits planned at the tort museum include an introductory timeline, a room detailing precedent-setting cases, a theater, and “cases that made a difference,” which will allow visitors to take in the evolution of tort law through the form of a graphic novel, officials say.
According to Jerry Eisterhold, the president and creative director of Eisterhold, the exhibits are designed to walk visitors through the history of tort law and explain how it has affected the lives of Americans over the decades by showing that, through the actions of everyday citizens, both as jurors and plaintiffs, it has wrest concessions from corporations that have shaped our modern world.
“The main artifact in the museum is a body of information, and we’re trying to get people to become a little bit more familiar, so that they can have a little bit more specific understanding of what tort law is,” said Eisterhold. “It’s not that there’s a specific artifact — or, you know, a diamond or any physical object. It’s an ephemeral thing, but… it’s very important, and it will continue to be important, because it’s going to go on to shaping net neutrality and things that you hear about in the news today.”
According to Ralph Nader — a consumer advocate, former presidential candidate and Winsted native — the museum is slated to officially open on Sept. 26. Nader bought the former bank building in 2013 to use for the museum, a project he has envisioned for almost 20 years and invested a lot of his own money into.
“We’re gratified that the first law museum in America will be situated in Winsted, Connecticut,” said Nader. “It will be a major educational (opportunity) and tourist destination.”
Nader has spent much of his life focusing on consumer protection. He based his seminal 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” on lawsuits filed against the car manufacturer General Motors. His own lawsuit against GM in 1966, in which he claimed the company hired private investigators to discredit him, expanded tort law to cover “overzealous surveillance,” according to a summary of the court case.
The law of torts is invoked by plaintiffs when there is wrongful injury to persons and property. Its origins date back to English common law.
More information about the American Museum of Tort Law, including a mission statement that describes its future role and goals as an institution and concept art for prospective exhibits, can be found on its website, tortmuseum.org.
Read the original story on the Register Citizen website @ http://www.registercitizen.com/general-news/20150721/renovation-of-futur....