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2000

Class actions

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The Futures Problem, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Jan 2000

The Futures Problem, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Perhaps the most difficult problem in addressing mass torts is that of future claimants. "Futures" are those who do not now have claims, because injury has not been sufficiently manifested, but who may well have claims in the future. The Supreme Court's decisions in Amchem and Ortiz appear to have foredoomed any procedural mechanism by which to resolve future claims. This, in turn, will leave defendants in mass tort cases with greatly reduced incentives to participate in mass settlement. That implication makes the possibility of reforms in substantive law perhaps more attractive. In addition, these decisions invite further questions ...