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Insurance Law Principal Jack Sullivan Examines U.S. Environmental Laws' Impact on the Insurance Industry for The Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue

In an October 16, 2014 article for The Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue, Insurance Law Department Chair John (Jack) C. Sullivan examines the impact of post-World War II U.S. environmental laws on the insurance industry. Mr. Sullivan writes that: 

"After having ground to a halt during the Great Depression, the US economy was revived by mobilisation for World War II. Nominal GDP in the US grew from about USD 102.9 billion in 1940 to $302 billion in 1950 to more than USD 543.3 billion in 1960. The growth did come with consequences however.

Science and technology drove this unprecedented era of economic expansion. The variety of chemicals that were manufactured and used across the manufacturing spectrum increased exponentially. What did not keep pace were disposal methods and practices to cope with the industrial wastes that were being created and an understanding of the impact these wastes were having on the environment."

Mr. Sullivan goes on to examine the rising public awareness of environmental catastrophes, Superfund, and the resulting and lasting impact on risk assessment and the insurance industry.