Citations (2)



Motivation and Tort Law: Acting for Economic Gain as a Suspect Motive

Martin A. Kotler

Widener University - School of Law

January 1, 1988

Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 41, 1988

Traditionally, tort scholars had claimed that the motives underlying a tortfeasor's decision to act were largely irrelevant. This Article challenges that view by showing the recurring importance of motive. Specifically, whether the actor is perceived to have been motivated by a desire for personal economic gain or, conversely, motivated by altruism correlates closely with the development of tort doctrine imposing liability on the former and immunizing the latter.

The observation that the economically motivated actor has been disfavored historically contradicts much of the descriptive and normative law and economics literature which argued that wealth maximizing behavior was and should be promoted by the legal system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: torts, tort law, motivation, motive, personal gain

JEL Classification: K13

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Date posted: May 9, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Kotler, Martin A., Motivation and Tort Law: Acting for Economic Gain as a Suspect Motive (January 1, 1988). Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 41, 1988. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1401519

Contact Information

Martin A. Kotler (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
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