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Toxic Torts
Science, Law, and the Possibility of Justice

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: June 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107151963

£ 82.99

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About the Authors
  • US tort law, cloaked behind increased judicial review of science, is changing before our eyes yet we cannot see it. While Supreme Court decisions have altered how courts review scientific testimony, the complexity of both science and legal procedures mask the resulting social consequences. Yet these consequences are too important to remain hidden. Mistaken court reviews of scientific evidence can decrease citizen access to the law, decrease incentives for firms to test their products, lower deterrence for harmful products, and decrease the possibility of justice for citizens injured by toxic substances. Even if courts review evidence well, increases in litigation costs and attorney screening of clients can impede access to the law. Newly revised and expanded, Toxic Torts, 2nd edition introduces these issues, reveals the relationships that can deny citizens just restitution for harms suffered, and shows how justice can be improved in toxic tort cases.

    • Fully updated to reflect ten years of developments in tort law and science
    • Includes expanded coverage of the scientific studies used to understand harms from chemical products
    • Offers an informed yet accessible approach tailored to help legal professionals better understand the current state of the law
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of previous edition: '[Carl F. Cranor's Toxic Torts] makes clear why he is the best-qualified philosopher to address the complex issues raised by toxic tort cases. I know of no other book that can match its scope and depth of treatment of the philosophical, scientific, and legal issues.' Douglas Maclean, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Review of previous edition: 'This carefully documented book should be required reading for all judges who deal with tort law and for law students or lawyers planning to specialize in the defense of citizens who claim they have been harmed by drugs or toxicants. It should also be read by chemistry students who are interested in the societal problems sometimes created by the production and use of chemicals. No other book that I have encountered so carefully delineates the great gulf between the science of toxicology and what is now happening in the judicial system.' Bette Hileman, Chemical and Engineering News

    Review of previous edition: 'Carl F. Cranor has achieved the almost impossible goal of a learned, readable, and exciting book on the torturous interactions between law and science in tort litigation. For a scientist, his analysis of case law in this field is exceptionally informative and provocative.' Ellen K. Silbergeld, The Johns Hopkins University

    Review of previous edition: '[T]he value of this book for those in law is its scientific orientation from beginning to end. Cranor provides lawyers and judges with the crucial understanding of how science works by explaining how studies are conducted, how evidence is integrated, and how inferences are made. … Toxic Torts deserves the attention of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars … compelling and timely … an insightful and important addition to the literature …' David S. Caudill, University of Villanova School of Law

    Review of previous edition: 'Cranor's book is an excellent book and a must read for anyone who is trying to engage with the science/law interface in any context. [It is] … concerned with detail … the details of the cases, the science and the reasoning. … He wants both lawyers and scientists to think hard about what they do. … Toxic Torts [is] a paradigm of taking an intelligent and methodological approach to the science/law interface.' Liz Fisher, University of Oxford

    Review of previous edition: 'Cranor's insightful discussions of science and law as it is seen by the Courts in toxic tort litigation is a 'must read' for scientists in toxicology, epidemiology, and pharmacology.' Eula Bingham, University of Cincinnati

    Review of previous edition: 'Carl F. Cranor's exceptionally lucid analysis of science in regulation and litigation reveals brilliantly why circumstantial evidence currently can convict a dangerous person but not a toxic chemical.' Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University, Massachusetts

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: June 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107151963
    • length: 430 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The veil of science over tort law policy
    2. Legal background
    3. Institutional concerns about the Supreme Court's trilogy
    4. Evidence of toxicity
    5. Scientific reasoning and some applications
    6. Excellent evidence makes bad law: pragmatic barriers to the discovery of harm and fair admissibility
    7. Science and law in conflict
    8. Milward v. Acuity Specialty Products: toward clarifying legal and scientific issues
    9. Enhancing the possibility of justice under Daubert
    10. What has Daubert wrought?

  • Author

    Carl F. Cranor, University of California, Riverside
    Carl F. Cranor is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, a faculty member of the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of California, Riverside, conducting research on science and the law. His books include Regulating Toxic Substances (1993) and Legally Poisoned (2011).

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