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Toxic Torts, Politics, and Environmental Justice: The Case for Crimtorts

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Abstract:

The borderline between criminal and tort law has been increasingly blurred over the past quarter century by the emergence of new “crimtort” remedies which have evolved to deter and punish corporate polluters. Punitive damages, multiple damages, and other “crimtort” remedies are under unrelenting assault by neo-conservatives principally because, under this paradigm, the punishment for wrongdoing can be calibrated to the wealth of the polluter. If wealth-based punishment is eliminated by the “tort reformers,” plaintiffs’ victories in crimtort actions such as those portrayed in the movies Silkwood, A Class Action, and Erin Brockovich will become an endangered species.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0265-8240.2004.00009.x

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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