Critical Developments in Toxic Torts
The Environmental Law Institute is pleased to announce this important series of national seminars examining critical issues and current trendsÂ in Toxic Tort litigation. There is no charge for ELI members to attend or listen to the seminars via conference call, but you must RSVP with Marcia McMurrin. Non-members will be charged $25 per session to attend or listen. Please contact Marcia McMurrin to RSVP or CLICK HERE to join ELI.
May 25, 2006, Latham & Watkins, Washington, DC
Data gathered through environmental regulation often end up being used in toxic tort suits, and data discovered in tort suits have driven some environmental regulation or enforcement actions. What are the relationships between toxic torts and environmental regulations, plaintiffsâ€™ attorneys and regulators? Are these unholy alliances or natural partnerships that result in improved public health and environmental protection? What lessons should companies, environmentalists, regulators, and their counsel learn from past examples where tort suits have influenced regulation, and vice versa?
June 22, 2006, Jenner & Block, Chicago, IL
Market share liability found traction in 2005, with courts adopting commingled product theory and risk contribution theory in some cases. Public nuisance claims, defective product claims, and property damage claims are also increasingly common features of tort suits. Added to this, new federal legislation on class actions came into effect, and states adopted rules making forum shopping more difficult. What does this mean for toxic tort cases in 2006 and beyond? Are theories of liability expanding while venues for large rewards are shrinking?
July 20, 2006, Jones Day, Washington, DC
Whatâ€™s the role of lower detection levels for substances in the body and the environment? Does liability flow from detectability? Is the law keeping pace with the science, causing problems, both? How do we distinguish between such low levels and background levels?
September 28, 2006, Los Angeles, CA
Are theories of causation changing-is it easier to win a tort suit today on causation grounds, or just as difficult as it always was? What is the role of experts in tort suits? Will courts remain gatekeepers of science? What have we learned now that weâ€™ve had significant time to apply the Daubert/Kumho approach? How does the Kelly-Frye standard compare? Are subclinical effects compensable?
October 18, 2006, Lowenstein Sandler PC, Roseland, NJ
What is the appropriate role of medical monitoring in resolving a tort suit? What has experience shown for companies that have adopted medical monitoring? Have the programs that have been put in place been well designed, or can we learn how to design more useful programs? Do plaintiffs actually use the programs? Have they helped to detect disease and avoid adverse outcomes? Is medical monitoring appropriate for class treatment?
July 24 , 2007, Howrey LLP, Washington, DC
Evidence that provides a sound basis for forward-looking regulatory action may not pass the judicial threshold for admissibility in tort litigation. But the lines between regulation and litigation are blurring as governmental and private litigants citing regulatory assessment of risks to human health and the environment file tort-based claims that seek to enjoin emissions and win substantial damage awards. In this seminar, panelists will discuss the appropriate role of regulatory conclusions in tort litigation, with a focus on both traditional toxic tort claims and more recent tort-based nuisance claims like those seeking to restrict greenhouse gas emissions by auto makers and power plants.