Document Type

Article

Abstract

In America, lawsuits are morality plays. We are a secular society of many cultures that holds its most important public rituals in the courtroom. As we separate the guilty from the innocent, the good guys from the bad guys, we symbolically reexamine, and sometimes redefine, our official morality-the values that establish us as a community. This is the key point that has generally been overlooked by the critics, including the present author, of courts in toxic tort cases and other technical controversies. Far more than fair and efficiently delivered compensation for bodily injury is at issue in these cases. Neither are these cases solely about issues of epidemiology, toxicology, and oncology, though these sciences have an important role to play.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1988

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