Emory Law Journal


In the mass tort context, the defendant typically seeks to resolve all of the claims against it in one fell swoop. But the defendant¿s interest in global peace is often unattainable in cases involving future claimants¿those individuals who have already been exposed to a toxic material or defective product, but whose injuries have not yet manifested sufficiently to support a claim or motivate them to pursue it. The class action vehicle cannot be used because it is impossible to provide reasonable notice and adequate representation to future claimants. Likewise, nonclass aggregate settlements cannot be deployed because future claimants will not have contacted attorneys whose participation is critical to those alternative methods of dispute resolution. In lieu of class actions and nonclass aggregate settlements, this Article proposes a hybrid public¿private claims resolution process designed to provide many of the benefits of global peace, while preserving the constitutional rights of future claimants and ensuring them fair compensation as their injuries manifest.