Causation and Tort Liability
John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business, Harvard Law School, Discussion Paper No. 193
Posted: 7 Jan 1997
Date Written: August 1996
We say that a person's act caused harm if the harm would not have occurred had the person not committed the act. This meaning of causation (sometimes called causation in fact or "but for" causation) along with notions of "proximate causation" are considered in this encyclopedia entry. It is a basic characteristic of tort law that liability is not imposed unless the defendant caused harm in a relevant sense. The chief question addressed here is how this feature of tort law advances the social, instrumental ends of the legal system.
JEL Classification: K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation