The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender, and Tort Law
Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law
University of Maine - School of Law
THE MEASURE OF INJURY: RACE, GENDER, AND TORT LAW, NYU Press, 2010
In The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender and Tort Law (NYU Press 2010), Professors Martha Chamallas and Jennifer B. Wriggins adopt a critical approach to tort law, explaining how the shape of contemporary U.S. law – from the types of claims recognized, to judgments about causation, to valuation of injuries – is affected by the social identities of the parties and cultural views on gender and race. The book analyzes hundreds of cases brought for personal injuries related to domestic violence, sexual and racial harassment and exploitation, lead paint poisoning, reproductive injuries and injuries to family members, as well as ordinary negligence and wrongful death suits requiring an assessment of damages to female and minority victims. Using historical and contemporary examples, the book re-examines the building blocks of tort law – intent, negligence, causation and damages – to uncover tacit assumptions and hierarchies that work to the detriment of women of all races and racial minorities, marginalizing and devaluing their injuries The authors take issue with the traditional notion that negligently-caused physical injury is the cornerstone of the field, emphasizing the disproportionate importance of emotional harm, non-economic damages and intentional torts in the lives of women and minorities. Their critical approach draws upon the insights and methods of feminist theory, critical race theory and cognitive psychology. They offer a vision of the field that incorporates norms and principles from civil rights and constitutional law and presents an argument for making race and gender equity an objective of tort law, alongside compensation and deterrence.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 23, 2010
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