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Toxic Torts

Author: Carl F. Cranor
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107151961
Size: 65.48 MB
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US tort law, cloaked behind increased judicial review of science, is changing before our eyes yet we cannot see it. While Supreme Court decisions have altered how courts review scientific testimony, the complexity of both science and legal procedures mask the resulting social consequences. Yet these consequences are too important to remain hidden. Mistaken court reviews of scientific evidence can decrease citizen access to the law, decrease incentives for firms to test their products, lower deterrence for harmful products, and decrease the possibility of justice for citizens injured by toxic substances. Even if courts review evidence well, increases in litigation costs and attorney screening of clients can impede access to the law. Newly revised and expanded, Toxic Torts, 2nd edition introduces these issues, reveals the relationships that can deny citizens just restitution for harms suffered, and shows how justice can be improved in toxic tort cases.

Medicinal Product Liability And Regulation

Author: Richard Goldberg
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1782251545
Size: 40.70 MB
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The piecemeal developments in product liability reform in Europe have their origins in the tragic association of phocomelia in children with thalidomide in 1962. In many ways these events have continued to generate pressure for reform of product liability, especially for the victims of drug-induced injury. This monograph attempts to address the major problems that typify claims for drug-induced injury, as well as highlighting the complex interrelationship between liability exposure and drug regulation. While medicinal products are subject to strict liability under the product liability directive, the claimant may have considerable difficulty in establishing that the relevant product is defective and that it caused the damage. It may also be necessary to overcome the development risk defence where this is pleaded. The monograph addresses these problems on a comparative jurisprudential basis, and seeks to determine whether medicinal products should be treated as a special case in the field of product liability. It examines the role of epidemiological evidence in assessing causation in product liability cases concerning medicinal products in the light of recent developments in the UK Supreme Court, the United States, Canada and France. In particular, it addresses the difficulties in reconciling the standards of proof in law and science, including the theory that causation can be proved on the balance of probabilities by reference to the doubling of risk of injury. An important case study compares and contrasts the approaches of the UK and the US to the measles, mumps, rubella Litigation. The book also examines the question as to whether compliance with regulatory standards should protect pharmaceutical manufacturers from product liability suits. It seeks to support a via media whereby the victims of drug induced injury can receive justice, while at the same time encouraging drug safety and innovation in drug development.

Tragic Failures

Author: Carl F. Cranor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190635754
Size: 43.36 MB
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The world is awash in chemicals created by fellow citizens, but we know little to nothing about them. Understanding whether even the most prevalent ones are toxic would take decades. Many people have tragically suffered serious diseases and premature death, including children during development. Why has this occurred? Many factors contribute, but two important ones are the laws permitting this and the manner in which science has been used to identify and assess whether or not products are toxic. Both are the outcome of legislative, corporate, and judicial choices. Congress created laws that in fact keep public health officials and the wider population in the dark about the toxicity of virtually all substances other than prescription drugs and pesticides. Facing considerable ignorance about toxic substances, impartially motivated scientists seeking to protect the public health are constrained by the natural pace of studies to reveal toxic effects. Corporate pressures on public health officials and scientific obstruction substantially heighten the barriers to protecting the public. When people have suffered serious as well as life-threatening diseases likely traceable to toxic substances, judicial errors barring relevant science in the personal injury (tort) law can and have frustrated redress of injustices. Under both public health law and the tort law, there are possibilities for improved approaches, provided public leaders make different and better choices. This book describes these issues and suggests how we could be better protected from myriad toxic substances in our midst.

The Law Of Environmental Justice

Author: Sheila R. Foster
Publisher: American Bar Association
ISBN: 9781604420838
Size: 18.53 MB
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Environmental justice is the concept that minority and low-income individuals, communities and populations should not be disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, and that they should share fully in making the decisions that affect their environment. This volume examines the sources of environmental justice law and how evolving regulations and court decisions impact projects around the country.

Forensic Epidemiology

Author: Michael Freeman
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0124046444
Size: 52.53 MB
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It is an inescapable fact that causation, both generally (in populations), and specifically (in individuals), cannot be observed. Rather, causation is determined when it can be inferred that the risk of an observed injury or disease from a plausible cause is greater than the risk from other plausible causes. While many causal evaluations performed in forensic medicine are simplified by the fact that the circumstances surrounding the onset of an injury or disease clearly rules out competing causes (eg, a death following a fall), there are many cases that present a more complicated picture. It is these types of investigations, in which an analysis of comparative levels of risk from competing causes is needed to arrive at a reliable and accurate determination of the most likely cause, that forensic epidemiology (FE) is directed at. In Forensic Epidemiology, the authors present the legal and scientific theories underlying the methods by which risk is used in the investigation of individual causation. Methods and principles from epidemiology are combined with those from a multitude of other disciplines, including general medicine, pharmacology, forensic pathology, biostatistics, and biomechanics, inter alia, as a basis for investigating the plausibility of injury and disease exposures and mechanisms. The ultimate determination of the probability of causation (PC) results from an assessment of the strength of association of the investigated relationship in the individual, based on a comparison between the risk of disease or injury from the investigated exposure versus the risk of the same disease or injury occurring at the same point in time in the individual, but absent the exposure. The principles and methods described in Forensic Epidemiology will be of interest to those who work and study in the fields of forensic medicine, epidemiology, and the law. Historical perspective on how epidemiologic evidence of causation has been used in courts in the US and Europe Theory and science underlying the use of risk to assess individual causation Primer on epidemiologic methods, and various measures used to arrive at individualized comparative risk assessments and PC The use of statistical methods applied to publicly available data for ad hoc analysis of PC applicable to the specific circumstances of a case Background on complementary disciplines, including forensic pathology, death investigation, biomechanics, and survival analysis Examples of applied FE in the investigation of traffic injury and death, automotive and other product defect litigation, medical negligence, and criminal prosecution and defense

Perspectives On Causation

Author: Richard Goldberg
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847318428
Size: 45.95 MB
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The chapters in this volume arise from a conference held at the University of Aberdeen concerning the law of causation in the UK, Commonwealth countries, France and the USA. The distinguished group of international experts who have contributed to this book examine the ways in which legal doctrine in causation is developing, and how British law should seek to influence and be influenced by developments in other countries. As such, the book will serve as a focal point for the study of this important area of law. The book is organised around three themes - the black letter law, scientific evidence, and legal theory. In black letter law scholarship, major arguments have emerged about how legal doctrine will develop in cases involving indeterminate defendants and evidential gaps in causation. Various chapters examine the ways in which legal doctrine should develop over the next few years, in particular in England, Scotland, Canada and the USA, including the problem of causation in asbestos cases. In the area of scientific evidence, its role in the assessment of causation in civil litigation has never been greater. The extent to which such evidence can be admitted and used in causation disputes is controversial. This section of the book is therefore devoted to exploring the role of statistical evidence in resolving causation problems, including recent trends in litigation in the UK, USA, Australia and in France and the question of liability for future harm. In the legal theory area, the so-called NESS (necessary element in a sufficient set) test of causation is discussed and defended. The importance of tort law responding to developing science and observations from the perspective of precaution and indeterminate causation are also explored. The book will be of interest to legal academics, policy makers in the field, specialist legal practitioners, those in the pharmaceutical and bioscience sectors, physicians and scientists.

Labeling Genetically Modified Food

Author: Paul Weirich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198043829
Size: 51.63 MB
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Food products with genetically modified (GM) ingredients are common, yet many consumers are unaware of this. When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers is a major motivation for labeling. But labeling need not be mandatory. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling. Why do consumers want to know about GM ingredients? GM foods are tested to ensure safety and have been on the market for more than a decade. Still, many consumers, including some with food allergies, want to be cautious. Also, GM crops may affect neighboring plants through pollen drift. Despite tests for environmental impact, some consumers may worry that GM crops will adversely effect the environment. The study of risk and its management raises questions not settled by the life sciences alone. This book surveys various labeling policies and the cases for them. It is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of the debate about labeling genetically modified food. The contributors include philosophers, bioethicists, food and agricultural scientists, attorneys/legal scholars, and economists.

Kivalina

Author: Christine Shearer
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608461718
Size: 11.66 MB
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“This story is a tragedy, and not just because of what’s happening to the people of Kivalina. It’s a tragedy because it’s unnecessary, the product, as the author shows, of calculation, deception, manipulation, and greed in some of the biggest and richest companies on earth.” —Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet "Christine Shearer's Kivalina: A Climate Change Story is a fast and bumpy ride that begins with the history of outrageous corporate deceptions through public relations and legal campaigns, continuing with building of the coal-and-oil empire to fuel progress in the United States, leading to the horrendous politics of climate crisis, and finally arriving at its destination, a ground-zero of climate refugee, Kivalina—an Inupiat community along the Chukchi Sea coast of arctic Alaska. I was angry when I turned the last page. I urge you to get a copy, read it, share the story, and join the new global climate justice movement."—Subhankar Banerjee, photographer, writer, activist, and author of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land While corporate funded scientists continue their effort to spread doubt about global climate change, for one native village in Alaska, the price of further denial could be the complete devastation of their homes and culture. Kivalina must be relocated to survive, but neither the oil giants nor the government have proven willing to take responsibility. Christine Shearer is a writer, journalist, activist, and academic. She is the environment and ecology editor of Economy Watch, and managing editor of the online progressive magazine Conducive. She is also a contributor to Coalswarm, part of the online corporate watch website SourceWatch.

Poverty Alleviation And Environmental Law

Author: Yves Le Bouthillier
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1781003297
Size: 29.22 MB
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'The alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment are both critical challenges for the vindication of basic human rights for all of humankind. This relationship is however not necessarily an easy one. While there is an inextricable link between poverty and the degradation of the environment, a sophisticated analysis of a problem needs to deal with those cases where the need to increase economic opportunity for poor communities may appear to conflict with fragile ecosystems or the preservation of traditional practices. This collection provides the most sustained engagement with these problems. Drawing on the expertise of a range of distinguished authors, this book presents the reader with an integrated global engagement with these problems. In doing so, it represents a landmark effort towards the creation of a coherent literature to deal with one of humankind's most pressing challenges.' – Dennis Davis, Judge of the High Court, South Africa 'The complex, uneven and challenging relationships between poverty alleviation and environmental regulation are impossible to trace in a single book but this collection brings a carefully selected set of policy-relevant, context-responsive, practical legal analyses to bear in a fresh examination of the present and future challenges involved. This is a timely contribution in the search for regulatory responses that alleviate rather than exacerbate the myriad forms of adaptation apartheid now so painfully evident in the relationship between poverty, injustice and environmental degradation.' – Anna Grear, University of Waikato, New Zealand 'The subject of poverty cannot be ignored by environmentalists as the poor are the most affected by the diverse impacts of environmental degradation and climate change such as on water, natural resources and cultural heritage sites. In addition, slum dwellings exacerbate the plight of the poor. The book is a collection of diverse topics by renowned environmental legal experts which deal with the relationship between the alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment. Each writer addresses the challenges raised in various issues and recommends solutions which range from linking with human rights, the need for public participation, the role of environmental courts and other mechanisms.' – Koh Kheng-Lian, National University of Singapore This timely book explores the complex relationship between the alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment. There is every reason to believe that these issues are in many ways interdependent. However this book demonstrates that there are situations where alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment appear to be in a fraught relationship. The contributing authors illustrate that the role played by law in this relationship, whether at the international or national level, will vary depending on the situation and will be more successful at pursuing environmental justice in some cases than in others. This interdisciplinary study will appeal to academics and students in environmental law and other environmental disciplines, environmental policymakers and NGOs interested in issues of poverty, environment and indigenous peoples.

The American Legal System

Author: Albert P. Melone
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742547537
Size: 54.80 MB
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Firmly anchored in social science concepts, the second edition of The American Legal System demonstrates the relationships among private law, the business legal environment, and public law issues, as well as related subjects of interest. This fifteen-chapter book is divided into three parts. Part I places the legal system in a political perspective centering on the origins of the law, schools of jurisprudence, branches and functions of law, legitimacy of law, how the judiciary functions in the federal system of government, and judicial interpretation and decision making. Part II contrasts legal processes: civil suits for money damages, criminal processes, equity justice, administrative processes, and alternative dispute resolution. Part III centers on the legal norms or rules governing both civil and criminal conduct, property law, family law, contract law, and government regulation of business. Throughout, the text features edited court opinions many new to this edition illustrating lively and thought-provoking controversies that are certain to spark student interest. Among the many compelling issues addressed are the legal and constitutional controversies surrounding the Bush Administration's "War on Terror," and the socially explosive developments concerning same-sex marriage. In addition, each chapter includes at least three comparative notes showing how other legal cultures in different nation-states treat legal matters. A wealth of pedagogical features chapter-opening objectives; key terms, names, and concepts; a glossary, discussion questions, and appendices are included to aid student comprehension. The authors have prepared an Instructor's Manual and Test Bank to facilitate the book's use in the classroom."