Mass Torts in a World of Settlement

Mass Torts in a World of Settlement

Richard A. Nagareda

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226567600

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

The traditional definition of torts involves bizarre, idiosyncratic events where a single plaintiff with a physical impairment sues the specific defendant he believes to have wrongfully caused that malady. Yet public attention has focused increasingly on mass personal-injury lawsuits over asbestos, cigarettes, guns, the diet drug fen-phen, breast implants, and, most recently, Vioxx. This book attempts to analyze the lawyer's role in this world of high-stakes, multibillion-dollar litigation. These mass settlements, the book argues, have transformed the legal system so acutely that rival teams of lawyers operate as sophisticated governing powers rather than as litigators. This book's solution is the replacement of the existing tort system with a private administrative framework to address both current and future claims.