Toxic Torts 2015


Course Date: May 6, 2015

Total: 4h 51min

Welcome

Professor Lynda M. Collins — Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray — Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Opening Address: Introduction to Toxic Torts
Professor Craig E. Jones, QC  Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

The Science of Toxic Torts

  • scientific uncertainty in toxic torts
  • overview of the relevant scientific disciplines (epidemiology, toxicology, and others)
  • scientific vs. legal standards of proof
  • communicating with your scientific expert witnesses multiple forums
  • translating scientific evidence for the courts

Professor Lynda M. Collins  Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

Networking Break

The Property Torts: Trends in Toxic Nuisance, Trespass, and Strict Liability

  • the directness dilemma in toxic trespass
  • proving material physical damage in toxic nuisance
  • the future of Rylands v. Fletcher in Canadian toxic tort law
  • property torts in the Aboriginal law context (Thomas v. Rio Tinto)
  • the special injury rule in public nuisance 

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray  Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

Problem-Based Learning Exercise  

Professor Lynda M. Collins — Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray — Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

Networking Lunch

Toxic Tort Claims Involving Government Parties

  • duty of care in toxic negligence claims against government: proximity
  • duty of care in toxic negligence claims against government: policy vs. operation
  • the standard of care in historical contamination cases (eg, Berendsen)
  • toxic tort claims by government plaintiffs—the tobacco model

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray  Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

Class Actions in Toxic Tort

  • commonality
  • environmental vs. toxic product class actions
  • climate change class actions
  • the BC Tobacco case study

Professor Craig E. Jones, QC  Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops
Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray  Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

Networking Break

Solving the Causation Problem in Toxic Torts

  • aggregating causation in mass tort claims
  • avoiding the injury requirement: toxic battery
  • disgorgement remedies: waiver of tort
  • claims based on regulatory pollution standards: the MTBE example
  • causation reform in indeterminate plaintiff cases

Professor Lynda M. Collins  Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Professor Craig E. Jones, QC  Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

Concluding Remarks

Professor Lynda M. Collins Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray — Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS), Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa