Emerging genetic and molecular technologies are revolutionizing our understanding of the relationship between genes and the environment. This Article develops an innovative framework for understanding the implications of the genomic revolution for the law of toxic torts. Professor Grodsky demonstrates how new technologies are poised to challenge longstanding distinctions between legally inconsequential "risk" and remediable "injury," and how the U.S. legal system will need to adapt to this emerging reality. If the law remains wedded to conventional notions of injury, it will ignore the fruits of a scientific revolution and thus may forego new remedial opportunities as yet unimagined. This is particularly significant given that twenty-first century medicine strives to "go beyond the limitations of biology" and detect, prevent, and treat disease at the molecular level. The transformative and rapidly evolving technologies of the genomic era will present herculean challenges for the legal system. But opportunities to fashion new remedies and create new efficiencies must not be overlooked in the process. Professor Grodsky recommends legal approaches to balance the goals of deterrence and legal restraint in an age of accelerating scientific change.

 

Read the full article.