Chapter

The Development of a Mass Tort

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/9780226567624.003.0002
The Development of a Mass Tort

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This chapter describes the development of mass tort litigation, linking its progress to the economic underpinnings of mass tort claims from the perspective of lawyers on both plaintiffs' and defendants' sides. The basic notion of developmental phases in mass tort litigation stems from the scholarship of Francis McGovern. Mass tort litigation frequently proceeds from an immature stage to a mature stage and, thereafter, to what one might call a peacemaking stage. The mature litigation stage marks a transformation in the strategies of lawyers on both sides. During the mature stage, outcomes in mass tort litigation have a considerable potential to become increasingly dysfunctional from the standpoint of existing tort doctrine. Unlike asbestos litigation, the mass torts of the future are unlikely to proceed far into the mature litigation stage.

Keywords: mass torts; tort litigation; Francis McGovern; mature stage; lawyers; tort doctrine; asbestos litigation

Chapter.  7778 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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