Mass Torts in a World of Settlement
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. Richard A. Nagareda’s Mass Torts in a World of Settlement is the first attempt to analyze the lawyer’s role in this world of high-stakes, multibillion-dollar litigation.
These mass settlements, Nagareda argues, have transformed the legal system so acutely that rival teams of lawyers operate as sophisticated governing powers rather than litigators. His controversial solution is the replacement of the existing tort system with a private administrative framework to address both current and future claims. This book is a must-read for concerned citizens, policymakers, lawyers, investors, and executives grappling with the changing face of mass torts.
“A brilliant account of mass torts. . . . Nagareda has a keen eye for strategy and a remarkable ability to discern patterns among litigants’ decisions that reveal the reasons for their actions, regardless of whether these reasons are ever stated in their pleadings.”
“Masterfully dissecting most of the major mass tort settlements of the past decade, Nagareda convincingly explains how and when mass torts settle, as well as why these settlements often fail.”
“Mass Torts in a World of Settlement not only provides an interesting overview regarding the state of modern mass tort litigation, but also an ambitious proposal for resolving such claims.”