Let’s get physical: civil liability and the perception of risk (C. Hilson)

Author

Chris Hilson

Keywords

Environment, health, negligence, nuisance, contaminated land, damage to property, economic loss, hazardous substances, health hazards, nuisance, risk management, tortious liability

Abstract

Examines the role of risk perception in tort claims concerning environmental “stigma damages” and fear of disease. Reviews the varying public perceptions of risk, the need to show physical damage in stigma cases, the range of potential stigma scenarios, and the scope for recovery via amenity nuisance or pure economic loss claims. Analyses case law involving fear of disease through exposure to hazardous substances, including what constitutes physical harm, and considers how current approaches to risk perception based on physical damage might be modified.

Citation

(2009) 21(1) Journal of Environmental Law 33-57

Paper

Let’s get physical: civil liability and the perception of risk