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Course Descriptions
USC Gould School of Law

Toxic Torts Seminar     LAW-731

Substantively, the goal of this course is to give students a basic introduction to the world of Toxic Torts, including a definition of that term and with special emphasis on the topics, scientific realities, and litigation procedures that make Toxic Torts different from normal torts. Most importantly, how do you even conceive of a tort lawsuit when the actual injury occurs two or three decades (or more) after exposure to the problematic product or drug? How does a plaintiff then prove that this defendant's product caused the plaintiff's illness, especially if the medical profession is still catching up? What role does regulation play? The course will explore these legal issues through a focus on “hot topics” in Toxic Tort litigation and the use of popular books. Specific topics will change from year to year depending on real-world developments, but recent topics have included vaccines, the legacy of nuclear contamination, PFAS contamination, the opioid crisis, and the Flint, Michigan, water contamination crisis, among others.

Units 3
Grading Options Numeric
Exam Type Paper
Writing Requirement Yes
Skills/Experiential Requirement No
Enrollment Limit 20

Grading Options: vary with the professor

Professors Teaching This Course