One of the most prominent of contemporary jurists, Judge Jack B. Weinstein has influenced substantive and procedural aspects of the law of mass tort litigation. He has helped create efficient yet compassionate solutions to problems resulting from Vietnam veterans' exposure to Agent Orange and to the health hazards associated with asbestos and DES. Traditionally, tort law has dealt with individuals and their problems on a case-by-case basis. The huge growth in population, in complex technology, and in the number of court cases makes it increasingly difficult to provide individuals with equal access to the court system. In order to ensure equal access, the courts have made pragmatic choices in devising procedures and remedies to preserve the essence of our prior conceptual approach to the law while devising effective remedies for the injured. ""Individual Justice in Mass Tort Litigations"" demonstrates how Judge Weinstein's thinking on these issues developed with his involvement with specific cases. The complexities of the Agent Orange case led to reflection on how the United States legal system deals with disasters. Cases of workers who had fallen ill because they had been exposed to asbestos prompted consideration of new procedures and substantive law, and his later cases involving des and repetitive stress syndrome led to an examination of the critical and pervasive ethical issues in mass torts. In ten tightly written chapters, Judge Weinstein sketches the law's reaction to disasters, outlines the general problems of ethics in modern cases, considers the ethics of lawyers, judges, parties, scientists and legislatures, and explores the equitable powers of courts to adapt to modern mass tort requirements. His conclusions suggest that greater protection of the public and a more humane way of compensating the injured is possible at less cost.
The law's reaction to disasters; general problems of ethics in modern cases; ethics of lawyers; ethics of judges; ethics of parties; ethics of scientists; ethics of legislatures; equitable powers of courts to adapt to modern mass torts requirements; the future.