Business Law - Paluch 1 Dustin Paluch Professor Boone MGT...

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Dustin Paluch Professor Boone MGT 218-02 26 April 2011 Tort Law In the April thirteenth, 2011 edition of the New York Times , there was an article posing questions of whether or not cell phones cause brain cancer. Reynard v. NEC, the first tort suit in the United States to claim a link between phone radiation and brain cancer, illustrated one of largest questions involving cancer and what is known to cause it (Mukherjee). Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the article, states that there are three ways a risk factor, a cell phone, and cancer intersect; the first of which is that the two can intersect through observation alone. The example given for this example is a lunar eclipse. A person can physically see that A causes B, therefore no further studying would be necessary to figure out the cause. A second way in which a risk factor intersects with cancer is when common exposure is associated with a common form of cancer. This second method is exposure of a product is associated with a common for of cancer. This phenomenon allows the link between a risk factor and cancer to disappear into the background undetected. The example given here is cigarettes and cancer when they were first introduced into the market; since cancer and smoking both became more common, the relationship between the two was not noticed right away. A third intersection, according to Mukherjee, between a risk factor and caner often occurs when a common exposure is associated with a rare form of cancer. This third intersection is where cell phone users who get cancer fall under since many patients with brain tumors all happen to share a common exposure, cell phones, and the line between cause and coincidence begins to blur (Mukheriee). The risk factor does not stand out nor does it disappear undetected, instead it creates an image that is clear to some while blurry for others. All of these factors were considered in 1993 when the first tort case was originally filed in the Florida Circuit Court when a woman, Susan Reynard, died at age 33 from a tumor in her brain. Overall, brain cancer occurs in about 6,000 adults in America each year, and links between cell phones and the cancer are currently being studied (Mukheriee). Mrs. Reynolds husband was convinced that high doses of radiation from her cell phone caused the tumor, and so he sued for his wife’s death. In the Paluch 1
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instance that any court case came before a court under similar circumstances, the case would fall under tort law. Within tort law there are intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and product liability. Tort law is a section of law involving the doing of any civil wrong doing with the exclusion of contract breaches (Boone). Most torts originated in common law but this area of law is constantly growing and changing to reflect society’s current views. According to Boone, an injured party can bring a civil lawsuit into court to seek compensation for a wrong doing to the party or to the party’s property. If David
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Business Law - Paluch 1 Dustin Paluch Professor Boone MGT...

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