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Fault in Contract Law

21 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2008  

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: March 2008


A promisor is strictly liable for breaching a contract, according to the standard account. However, some cases and doctrines appear to recognize that a promisor will not be liable, or will face reduced damages, if the breach was the result of inadvertence rather than fault or willfulness. A negligence-based system of contract law can be given an economic interpretation, and it is shown that such a system is in some respects more attractive than the strict-liability system.

Keywords: liability, breach of contract

Suggested Citation

Posner, Eric A., Fault in Contract Law (March 2008). U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 396. Available at SSRN: or

Eric A. Posner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

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