Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts

Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts

Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts

Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts

Excerpt

Great lawsuits involve the clash of fundamental legal principles and important social interests. That is why parties bring them, lawyers and judges cite them, law professors analyze them, and law students pore over them. But beneath and behind the abstract doctrines, obscured by the momentous stakes, are the unique individuals whose particular purposes and intelligences organize and drive the litigation. Of them, the lawbooks say little. My ambition in writing this book has been to repair this omission. I have sought to expose the human forces that have shaped the Agent Orange case, while exploring the larger meaning of the case for American law and public policy.

The book is divided into three major parts. Part I, "The Context" (Chapters 1 and 2), traces the historical roots and the social, political, and legal environments in which the Agent Orange case arose. Part II, "The Case" (Chapters 3 through 11), consists of a detailed, essentially chronological narrative of the Agent Orange litigation. It begins with the stories of the veterans and lawyers who organized and launched the lawsuit in 1978 and concludes with Judge Weinstein's series of controversial decisions concluding the litigation at the trial court level in May 1985. The narrative is interspersed with analyses of the many novel legal issues that the case presented, and is written to be accessible to readers with no sophisticated understanding of legal doctrines, procedures, or institutions. Part III, "The Future" (Chapters 12 and 13), offers several different perspectives on the broader social and legal significance of the Agent Orange case and explores its implications for future legal policy concerning the control of mass exposures to toxic substances. Although this part, especially Chapter 13, which analyzes a variety of alternative public policies and legal . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.