This Article describes the causes of action available under current Washington law when a workplace hazard contributes to an adverse reproductive outcome such as miscarriage, birth defects, transplacental carcinogenesis, or other prenatal injury. Part II delineates the wide variety of workplace conditions that may lead to an adverse reproductive outcome, ranging from emotional stress, cigarette smoke, and fall hazards to more traditional teratogen exposures such as lead. Part III describes the types of reproductive harm that can form the basis of a lawsuit in Washington. Part IV notes the theories of liability and the potential defendants, including employers, co-employees, consultants, manufacturers, and others contributing to such an outcome. Part IV also offers a prediction that the number of lawsuits alleging such injury are likely to increase dramatically. Part V discusses defenses available to an employer. Part VI identifies the goals that should be served under any proposed solution. Finally, Part VII argues for a legislative approach towards an equitable balancing of childrens' health interests against womens' employment opportunities and employers' concerns about massive tort liability.
Steven S. Paskal, Liability for Prenatal Harm in the Workplace: The Need for Reform, 17 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 283 (1994).