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November 1986 Archives

Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts

Anyone wanting to understand mass torts in general�and the role of Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein in particular�should read Yale Law Professor Peter Schuck's classic analysis of the Agent Orange litigation. Professor Schuck first sets up the case, foraying into chemical plants, Vietnam, and the medical background of the ensuing litigation. The second part�the bulk of the book�details the case itself, from Vietnam veteran Paul Reutershan's initial lawsuit to Judge Weinstein�s final decision. The final chapters apply the lessons of the Agent Orange trial to mass toxic torts in general and lay out Professor Schuck's proposals for reform, including how to balance the inconsistent interests of the plaintiffs, defendant corporations, attorneys, judges, and the government.
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