Chapter

Origins

in Mass Torts in a World of Settlement

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780226567600
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226567624 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226567624.003.0001
Origins

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This chapter describes the origins of the mass tort phenomenon, addressing the influences of industrialization, changes in tort theory, and changes in the procedures for civil litigation during the twentieth century. Industrialization and its discontents have given rise to an industrialization of litigation that presents discontents of its own. The rise of mass tort litigation in the last decades of the twentieth century corresponded in time with two developments in the political realm: the dwindling of the New Deal faith in government as a source of bold solutions to social problems and the growing resistance of the public to taxation as a means to fund new government initiatives. The relationship of law and politics in mass tort litigation is complex. Mass torts could present a problem of governance only because government had become more limited in its own ambitions.

Keywords: mass tort; tort litigation; industrialization; tort theory; civil litigation; New Deal faith; taxation; politics

Chapter.  4175 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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