The Inapplicability of Traditional Tort Analysis to Environmental Risks: The Example of Toxic Waste Pollution Victim Compensation
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 35, p. 575, February 1983
46 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2009
Date Written: February 1983
Toxic waste disposal injuries are fundamentally different - in the time lag between disposal and injury and in the indeterminacy of causation of the injury - from the immediate, individualized wrongs for which tort law developed. This article examines the divergence of these injuries from the traditional archetypal tort, paying particular attention to whether or not the goals of tort law apply in this new context. It shows that both specific statutes and the essential characteristics of the toxic waste problem prevent realization of traditional tort goals. Characterizing toxic waste pollution as an “environmental risk,” the article derives a proposed compensation scheme for toxic waste injuries.
Keywords: environmental risk, toxic waste pollution, tort analysis, toxic torts, toxic waste disposal, tort causation
JEL Classification: K10, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation