Many courts have yet to address whether an individual suffering from the fear of contracting cancer can recover. New Mexico, unlike Colorado, has yet to encounter such a case. Over the past five decades toxic contamination from chemical releases has affected many people in numerous ways. The Love canal is one of the first and one of the most infamous incidents of toxic contamination. The Rocky Mountain States, and in particular, New Mexico, have had very few, if any, tort cases resulting from toxic pollutants. In New Mexico, the two most recent cases that have resulted from a toxic release, Schwartzman Inc. v. Atchison, Topeka & S.F. Railway, and Hartman v. Texico Inc., address the torts of trespass and nuisance, but not personal injury and the emotional distress the people living near the sites of chemical release can suffer from. Dodge v. Cotter Corp., is the most recent case in the Rocky Mountain States that addresses personal injuries resulting from a toxic chemical release. The Rocky Mountain States have a diverse climate that has attracted a wide variety of industries including the Waste Isolation Pilot project, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, Intel, and other large manufacturers. These industries employ thousands of people who live, work, and vacation nearby. With the influx of these industries and people, it is reasonable to assume that we will see claims similar to those in Dodge filed and litigated in the New Mexico State and federal courts.
University of New Mexico School of Law
Johnson, Susan. "Toxic Torts and the Fear of Cancer: Who Should Be Compensated for Emotional Distress? Dodge v. Cotter Corporation." (2003). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/law_studentscholarship/34