The Market Response to Product Safety Litigation
This paper examines the stock market impact of 29 product liability lawsuits reported in the Wall Street Journal from 1970-85, an additional series of Agent Orange events, and a set of regulatory events involving product risks. If these events and the costs associated with them were fully anticipated, then there would be no effect on the stock market price. Adverse stock market effects increase if the event involves a product liability action, bodily injury, or a court decision. Lengthy newspaper coverage and initial reports also have a strong effect. If there are multiple defendants, the market cost per firm is reduced. One widely publicized "good news" event--the final Agent Orange decision--led to a dramatic increase in stock prices. Copyright 1990 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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