The Paltry Power Of The Precautionary Principle

Law360, New York (January 27, 2014, 5:29 PM EST) -- The precautionary principle may be met anytime[1] an advocate wishes to secure any action or award she is unable to prove by traditional proof. Advocates have invoked it in environmental cases spanning natural resource damages, defense of regulation and even toxic tort style personal injury. But in litigation it has not proven a solution to inadequate proof of causation or actual risk.

The precise formulation of the precautionary principle varies. While related idioms, like “better safe than sorry,” have long been in popular parlance, the modern...
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