Expansion of Liability under Public Nuisance
18 Supreme Court Economic Review 1 (2010)
Posted: 3 May 2019
Date Written: 2010
From guns to lead paint to sub-prime mortgages to global climate change, use of the common law doctrine of public nuisance to recover damages allegedly caused by the actions of multiple parties over many years is rising. These efforts have met with mixed results, and there are serious doubts about the legitimacy of public nuisance as a means to extract compensation for such widespread harms. Surprisingly, recent public nuisance litigation had been neglected by leading scholars. In order to bring more scholarly insights to the appropriateness of recent public nuisance actions, the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth commissioned four papers for presentation and discussion at a Research Roundtable at Northwestern University School of Law in April 2008. Roundtable participants included professors, practicing attorneys, and government regulators. Following eight hours of lively discussion, the authors revised their papers to incorporate the comments received. Those papers are presented in this volume of the Supreme Court Economic Review.
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