Wednesday, June 4, 2008
In his latest Findlaw column, Tony Sebok concludes his two-part series on the lead paint nuisance suits filed by the State of Rhode Island against the lead paint industry. Sebok focuses on two issues: (1) "why, contrary to the impression of many observers, the defendants did not dominate the oral argument," and (2) "why the defendants should win, and what it will take for the Rhode Island Supreme Court to give them a victory based on principled adjudication, as opposed to mere expediency."
Sebok predicts that "the defendants will win some kind of reversal of the trial verdict," and hinges this conclusion on the distinction between public nuisance and tort law. In short, Sebok believes that the Rhode Island Supreme Court will see the "public nuisance" suit for what it really is - a products liability claim with all the accompanying causation and repose issues.