Environmental Personal Injury Litigation as One Source of Response Effects: Findings From the National Exposure Registry

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The potential for error in survey responses obtained from people involved with environmental personal injury litigation was examined in a registry of persons exposed to the chemical trichloroethylene. Two subgroups were selected and compared: environmental personal injury plaintiffs and nonlitigants residing in the same community. Self-reported information on demographic characteristics revealed no statistically significant differences. Although plaintiffs reported higher rates of symptoms and health problems, only 2 of the 20 comparisons on health were statistically significant. The overall similarity between the two groups suggests that environmental personal injury plaintiffs may be no more likely than nonlitigants to provide inaccurate information in health surveys.

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