Protecting the Public: Legal Issues in Injury Prevention

Overview


Injury--both violent and unintentional--is the greatest threat to public health in America today. Many, if not most, injury prevention measures involve the use of law. These laws range from federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to state seat-belt use laws to city smoke detector ordinances. Protecting the Public: Legal Issues in Injury Prevention is the first comprehensive study of this important area of the law. Written by renowned experts in the field, the work describes the strengths and weaknesses of injury ...
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Overview


Injury--both violent and unintentional--is the greatest threat to public health in America today. Many, if not most, injury prevention measures involve the use of law. These laws range from federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to state seat-belt use laws to city smoke detector ordinances. Protecting the Public: Legal Issues in Injury Prevention is the first comprehensive study of this important area of the law. Written by renowned experts in the field, the work describes the strengths and weaknesses of injury prevention laws. It examines how the courts have dealt with a variety of legal challenges to injury prevention laws, including challenges based on the laws' apparent interference with the free exercise of individual rights. Relevant issues such as whether or not compulsory motorcycle helmet laws violate constitutional rights, and whether gun control laws reduce gun violence are addressed in this book. The book also demonstrates how civil litigation in the form of private lawsuits is sometimes an alternative means of inducing injury prevention measures. The effectiveness of injury prevention laws are also reviewed. Public policy issues are explored and the philosophical and economic objections to such laws are explained. Throughout the book, Christoffel and Teret have skillfully interwoven excerpts from legal opinions and research studies into their lucid text. Their book will be an invaluable guide for lawyers, health professionals, public health administrators, policymakers, community activists and all those involved in protecting the public through injury prevention laws.

This book contains no illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Thomas J. Esposito, MD, MPH (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This book is coauthored by two lawyers involved in the academic discipline of public health and injury control. It is a new, unique, and much needed work that provides a common knowledge base in law for the nonlawyer and in injury control for the law professional. The format is one of topical discussion, accentuated by illustrative presentations from case law.
Purpose: The authors assume readers have no familiarity with legal study. The stated purpose is to provide a general introduction to injury prevention law, explain sources of authority for such laws, and review their legal validity and effectiveness. The text offers systematic access to a majority of what is known regarding injury prevention laws, their strengths, weaknesses, and degree of success or failure. The authors also attempt to stimulate continuing study and development in the area of public health protection.
Audience: These respected authorities have targeted a multidisciplinary audience of those potentially involved in the broad field of injury control. These include public health safety professionals, academicians, government officials, safety advocates, engineers, health care providers, and concerned citizens. The style and format of text and references, however, are most easily understood by those familiar with the legal profession and its literature. This is particularly true for section 2 on the legal validity of injury prevention laws.
Features: There are several useful tables that present data clearly in the chapter on evaluation methodology. References are for the most part current; those that are older are pertinent. Overall, the book has a handsome appearance. The format of double columns alternating with full pages of text of different fonts is somewhat distracting. The appendix containing the Bill of Rights adds little to the book. Of greater value is the listing of related texts on injury control that is printed on the back of the book jacket. This, unfortunately, will be lost if the jacket is removed and discarded.
Assessment: This is an important work and resource for all injury control professionals. It is somewhat geared to those with a legal background, but the introduction and sections on private litigation and public policy issues are more easily read by broader audiences. A particularly unique, useful, and well written section deals with evaluating the effectiveness of injury prevention laws. This book is highly recommended.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195073683
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Christoffel, J.D., is Professor in the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of four books and over 50 articles on health law and injury. Professor Christoffel recently served as chair of the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services section of the American Public Health Association. Stephen Teret, J.D., M.P.H., is Director of the John Hopkins Injury Prevention Center. As a lawyer trained in public health, he has focused his work on the epidemiology and policy of injury prevention, with emphasis on strategies that involve the law.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
I Introduction
1 The Role of Law in Reducing Injury 3
Why Injury Is an Important Societal Problem 3
Injury in America: A Continuing Public Health Problem
Cost of Injury in the United States: A Report to Congress
How Injury Is Preventable 6
Injury Prevention: Meeting the Challenge
Law as a Public Health Tool 11
The Three Objections to Injury Prevention Laws 13
2 Law and the Legal System 15
What Is Law? 15
The U.S. Legal System 18
Judicial Interpretation and Control 21
II The Legal Validity of Injury Prevention Laws
3 State Police Power: The Authority to Enact Injury Prevention Laws 25
Extent of the Police Power: Judicial Support for Governmental Health and Safety Measures 30
Queenside Hills Realty Co., Inc., v. Saxl, Commissioner of Housing and Buildings of the City of New York
Balancing: Weighing Social Need Against Costs to the Individual 33
Jacobson v. Massachusetts
State v. Hartog
Judicial Review: Judicial Hesitancy to Intrude into Areas of Legislative Judgment 45
Michigan Department of State Police v. Rick Sitz et al.
Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego
4 Federal Authority to Enact Injury Prevention Laws 53
United States of America v. One Hazardous Product Consisting of a Refuse Bin
South Dakota v. Dole, Secretary of Transportation
5 State and Federal Authority in Conflict: Preemption 66
Preemption Explicitly Asserted by Congress 67
Chrysler Corporation v. Tofany
Preemption Implied by the Nature of a Congressional Regulatory Scheme 76
Preemption Based on a Clear Conflict Between State and Federal Laws 76
Wood v. General Motors Corporation
Preemption Through Delegation by Congress to Specific Administrative Agencies 82
Invalidation of State or Local Laws That Unduly Burden the Flow of Interstate Commerce 83
Raymond Motor Transportation, Inc. v. Rice, Secretary, Department of Transportation of Wisconsin
State and Local Conflicts: A Final Note 88
People v. Nemadi
6 Individual Rights 93
First Amendment 94
Stepping Stone Enterprises, Ltd. v. Andrews
Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego
Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico
Second Amendment 105
Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove
State v. Brown
Fourth Amendment 116
Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Association
Michigan Department of State Police v. Rick Sitz et al.
Fifth Amendment 128
United States v. Sun and Sand Imports, Ltd., Inc.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
People of the State of Illinois v. Elizabeth J. Kohrig et al.
III Private Litigation
7 Private Litigation as a Social Tool 159
The Basics of Tort Law 159
Using Tort Law to Reduce Injury 160
Larsen v. General Motors Corporation
Is Tort Law an Effective Mechanism for Injury Prevention? 168
IV Evaluating the Effectiveness of Injury Prevention Laws
8 Evaluation Difficulties 173
The Need 173
The Problem 175
9 Evaluation Methodology: Approaches and Examples 185
Evaluation Methodology 185
Examples 187
A Report to the Congress on the Effect of Motorcycle Helmet Use Law Repeal - A Case for Helmet Use
The New Philadelphia Story: The Effects of Severe Punishment for Drunk Driving
Effects of Restrictive Licensing of Handguns on Homicide and Suicide in the District of Columbia
V Public Policy Issues
10 Economic, Philosophical, and Other Policy Issues 213
The Economic Costs of Injury 214
Injury Prevention and Individual Autonomy 216
Social Policy Choices 217
Conclusion 217
Appendix: The Bill of Rights 221
Index 223
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