Jamie Cassels


Mass torts; Bhopal Union Carbide Plant Disaster; Bhopal; India; 1984

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This paper describes the course of the litigation following the Bhopal disaster. It begins with a brief description of the various failures in risk assessment and management that gave rise to the hazardous conditions in Bhopal, and then describes in more detail the resulting legal proceedings. Specifying a number of modest criteria against which the success of the litigation can be measured, the paper examines why traditional tort processes are unlikely to succeed in the case of mass hazards. The paper describes and analyzes a number of significant reforms forged by the Indian courts in response to the Bhopal disaster, and seeks to articulate some of the lessons to be learned from these efforts.

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