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Article
Getting the Lead Out: The Misuse of Public Nuisance Litigation by Public Authorities and Private Counsel
Toxics Law Reporter (2006)
  • Richard O. Faulk
  • John S. Gray
Abstract
Despite the wide array of substances and products potentially subject to this expanded cause of action, this article focuses on litigation involving lead, and most particularly, litigation involving lead paint. In order to understand the depth of the errors inherent in these claims, the article provides an exhaustive review of lead generally, including its physical and chemical characteristics, historical uses, regulatory background, and its toxicity. The article then reviews the underpinnings of the tort of ‘‘public nuisance’’ and studies the experience of past and pending cases, ultimately focusing on the controversy surrounding lead paint. As will be seen, such a comprehensive review demonstrates that, far from achieving just and intellectually defensible results, the present litigation is incapable of truly serving the public interest – unless that interest is defined by economically coerced settlements that benefit the public purse (and the purses of private law firms), as opposed to the public health.
Keywords
  • public nuisance,
  • lead paint,
  • product liability
Disciplines
Publication Date
November, 2006
Citation Information
Richard O. Faulk and John S. Gray. "Getting the Lead Out: The Misuse of Public Nuisance Litigation by Public Authorities and Private Counsel" Toxics Law Reporter (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_faulk/21/