FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3-22-2023
CONTACT: Burt Peretsky, <email@example.com>, 781-696-5579
NH High Court Rejects Claim for Medical Monitoring by
Plaintiffs Who had Suffered No Actual Bodily Injury
CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire Supreme Court today rejected a claim for the costs of being medically monitored brought by plaintiffs who had suffered no actual bodily injury. The New England Legal Foundation (NELF – www.newenglandlegal.org) had filed an amicus brief in the case, opposing the plaintiffs’ unprecedented claim
In the case, Brown v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, the plaintiffs alleged that they had been exposed to toxic chemicals released by the plastics company. Although they had suffered no actual physical injury, they claimed that an elevated level of the chemicals in their blood was sufficient legal reason to require the company to pay for them to be monitored for possible future disease.
In its amicus, friend-of-the-court, brief in the case, NELF argued that the Court should defer to the state Legislature on this unusual issue because the established practice in New Hampshire is that the elective body decides public policy on all such novel questions. NELF pointed out also that it would be singularly inopportune for the Court to adopt such a novel legal theory now, inasmuch as in the past few years the Legislature had been trying reach a consensus on precisely the situation alleged by the plaintiffs.
In rejecting their medical monitoring claim, the Court emphasized its novelty under existing state tort law and, like NELF, noted that “recent legislative action reflects the current public policy of this state.”
“NELF welcomes the prudent deference shown to the Legislature by the Court’s decision,” the Foundation’s Staff Attorney John Pagliaro said; Pagliaro wrote the NELF brief, and NELF was represented by local counsel Matthew J. Delude of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC in Manchester.
NELF President Dan Winslow added, “This is an excellent example of judicial restraint, and we commend the New Hampshire Supreme Court for its wise decision.”
About the New England Legal Foundation
The New England Legal Foundation (NELF – www.newenglandlegal.org) is the leading non-profit public interest law firm in the region dedicated to addressing policy and constitutional concerns related to economic freedom. NELF’s ongoing mission is to champion free enterprise, property rights, limited government based on rule of law, and inclusive economic growth. NELF challenges actions by governments and special interests which would unreasonably intrude on the economic freedoms of individuals and business enterprises in New England and the nation. We believe that free enterprise is a foundational value of a democratic society and the best opportunity for people to lift themselves to prosperity.