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Mass Tort Litigation Management in Bankruptcy Court
February 28 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
12:00 PM PT
Nearly four decades have passed since the birth of a radical experiment in procedural collectivism: using chapter 11 bankruptcy to manage mass tort litigation, starting with Johns Manville (asbestos) and A.H. Robins (Dalkon Shield IUD). Today, lawyers in mass tort bankruptcies routinely assert that bankruptcy is the only forum that offers complete resolution and global peace. Could it really be that that the bankruptcy system is the right home for these disputes? Is there something inherent in the bankruptcy system that has caused, or at least facilitated, this apparent expansion? What are the institutional limitations on any type of court to tackle the problems these cases raise?
Bankruptcy Judge William J. Lafferty, District Judge Frank W. Volk and Professor Melissa Jacoby discuss why so many controversial mass tort cases find their way to bankruptcy court, and consider how the courts might respond.