Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Special Project examines the most important issues of the asbestos problem and advocates a congressional solution (1) to relieve the courts of the thousands of present and potential asbestos cases, (2) to protect future claimants' rights to adequate compensation, and (3) to provide for equitable participation by all responsible parties, which, in addition to asbestos manufacturers,include the federal government, insurance companies, and the tobacco industry. The first six parts of the Special Project examine the various issues of asbestos litigation: theories of liability in products liability suits against asbestos manufacturers, causation,defenses, statutory limitations on actions, collateral estoppel, and punitive damages. The Special Project then discusses in parts VIII,IX, and X the methods used by asbestos manufacturers to attempt to spread their liability through asserting insurer liability, the exclusive remedy of workers' compensation, and indemnity and contribution from the United States. Finally, the Special Project evaluates and analyzes recent developments in the asbestos litigation area, including proposals for federal legislative compensation programs and business alternatives available to asbestos manufacturers facing enormous asbestos-related liabilities...

This Special Project critically has examined the most important issues concerning the asbestos problem. It has considered the complex legal, legislative, and social questions that society must confront in order to resolve this predicament. Only swift action by Congress in the form of a fair and comprehensive compensation scheme for victims of asbestos-related disabilities will initiate a solution to this difficult and pervasive problem.