Toxic Torts, Politics, and Environmental Justice: The Case for Crimtorts

19 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2004  

Thomas H. Koenig

Northeastern University

Michael L. Rustad

Suffolk University Law School

Abstract

The borderline between criminal and tort law has been increasingly blurred over the past quarter century by the emergence of new "crimtort" remedies which have evolved to deter and punish corporate polluters. Punitive damages, multiple damages, and other "crimtort" remedies are under unrelenting assault by neo-conservatives principally because, under this paradigm, the punishment for wrongdoing can be calibrated to the wealth of the polluter. If wealth-based punishment is eliminated by the "tort reformers," plaintiffs' victories in crimtort actions such as those portrayed in the movies Silkwood, A Class Action, and Erin Brockovich will become an endangered species.

Suggested Citation

Koenig, Thomas H. and Rustad, Michael L., Toxic Torts, Politics, and Environmental Justice: The Case for Crimtorts. Law & Policy, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 189-207, April 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=568235

Thomas H. Koenig (Contact Author)

Northeastern University ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

Michael L. Rustad

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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