Toxic Torts

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Delicate_archThe study of toxic torts provides added depth to the analysis of environmental law and issues of sustainability in two critical ways. First, it provides understanding about the legal effects of adverse impacts to human health and the environment from accidents, releases, and other environmental catastrophes. Second, it provides insight into the critical legal questions of proof—whether the Daubert issues arising from experts or the sometimes difficult questions of causation in complex physical and biological systems. In short, the ability to understand and interpret these legal implications will help guide the complex decision-making critical to choosing sustainable alternatives to current policy.

The Widener Environmental Law Center brings the expertise of Jean Macchiaroli Eggen to bear on these critical issues that touch public health, environmental, and evidence law. Professor Eggen is the author of TOXIC TORTS IN A NUTSHELL, as well as numerous articles on toxic reproductive and genetic hazards, scientific evidence, mass torts, and federal preemption. In addition, Professor May’s article “Fashioning Procedural and Substantive Due Process Arguments in Toxic and Other Tort Actions Involving Punitive Damages after Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Haslip” provides further insights.  The unique analytical possibilities for environmental, energy, and sustainability issues afforded by the policy and evidentiary perspectives of toxic torts adds a broad dimension to the Center’s analysis of the emerging issues of the 21st century.

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