Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1162106
 
 

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Technology & Torts: A Theory of Memory Costs, Nondurable Precautions and Interference Effects


Ben Depoorter


University of California Hastings College of Law; Ghent University - Center for Advanced Studies in Law & Economics

Jef De Mot


Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Faculty of Law

July 17, 2008

University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-37

Abstract:     
This Article examines the influence of nondurable precaution technologies on the expansion of tort awards. We provide four contributions to the literature. First, we present a general, formal model on durable and non-durable precaution technology that focuses on memory costs. Second, because liability exposure creates interference, we argue that tort law perpetuates the expansion of awards. Third, because plaintiffs do not consider the social costs of interference effects, private litigation induces socially excessive suits. Fourth, while new harm-reducing technologies likely increase accident rates, such technologies also raise the ratio of trial costs to harm, leaving undetermined the overall effect of new technologies on the rate of litigation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: tort law, tort award, precaution, technology

JEL Classification: D72, F02, K34

working papers series


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Date posted: July 17, 2008 ; Last revised: November 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Depoorter, Ben and De Mot, Jef, Technology & Torts: A Theory of Memory Costs, Nondurable Precautions and Interference Effects (July 17, 2008). University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-37. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1162106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1162106

Contact Information

Ben Depoorter (Contact Author)
University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ghent University - Center for Advanced Studies in Law & Economics ( email )
Ghent Univ. Law School
Universiteitstraat 4
Gent, 9000
Belgium
Jef De Mot
Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Faculty of Law ( email )
Universiteitstraat 4
Ghent, B-9000
Belgium
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