Use of Mass Appraisals in Toxic Tort Litigation

Involving Loss of Value, Proceedings of the International Association of Assessment Officers, October 2002.

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This paper reviews methods used in Toxic Tort Litigation to examine alleged loss of value for properties proximate to buildings suffering environmental disamenities. These methods build on standard mass appraisal methods, use traditional assumptions regarding probability distributions, and introduce new techniques that make efficient use of the appraisal results. The goal of this article is to demonstrate that reasonable procedures with common-sense appeal can prevail even when standard analytic or econometric techniques fail. Care in reducing the problem to an elemental level, buttressed by minimal assumptions, leads to results that can be understood and readily accepted.

– Cowan, Charles D.

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