Poor Adam Gibson. He comes home from work one evening expecting to enjoy a birthday celebration with his family, and just as he’s about to enter the front door he glances through the window and sees another man inside with his wife and daughter.
The other man is making himself at home – acting like he’s been there before, like he owns the place – and his wife and daughter are buzzing around him as though he really is the head of the family.
Worst of all, the other man looks just like Adam: a dead ringer. It’s as if he were looking in a mirror and seeing his own image, or having an out-of-body experience and observing his own life from a distance.
Adam’s been cloned. The man inside his house is his exact duplicate. Or could it be that the man inside is the genuine article, the real Adam – and the Adam peering in from outside, the double?
Vietnamese fisherman Dung Nguyen may have had similar emotions when he first found out that he was listed as one of more than 44,000 clients in a class action suit filed by plaintiffs attorney Mikal Watts against BP for damages allegedly caused by the Gulf Oil Spill. Nguyen had neither sought nor secured the services of Watts. He didn’t even know the man.
Yet, there was his name on Watts’ client list.
Nguyen and fellow fishermen filed suit against Watts this month in San Antonio District Court, accusing him of fraud for listing them as clients in litigation against BP – without their knowledge or permission.
BP made similar claims against Watts in a suit filed late last year, charging that more than half the Social Security numbers on his client list were fake. Federal agents had previously raided Watts’ office looking for evidence of identity theft.
Maybe, instead of representing people without permission, Watts should have secured one legitimate client and cloned him multiple times.