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Tort Law and Probabilistic Litigation: How to Apply Multipliers to Address the Problem of Negative Value Suits

25 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012

Jef De Mot

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Faculty of Law

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law; Ugent - CASLE; Stanford CIS

Date Written: January 4, 2010

Abstract

This Article advances a proposal that brings to life valuable lawsuits that litigation costs currently discourage. Our proposal converts claims with negative expected values into positive expected value claims by implementing a novel system involving flexible conditional multipliers. Our proposal has two components. First, under the proposed system a plaintiff is allowed to select a damage multiplier that determines the amount of damages the plaintiff will receive if the litigation is successful. Second, courts select cases for litigation randomly with a probability inverse to the multiplier the plaintiff selected.

Keywords: litigation, procedure, tort law

JEL Classification: D72, F02, K34

Suggested Citation

De Mot, Jef and Depoorter, Ben, Tort Law and Probabilistic Litigation: How to Apply Multipliers to Address the Problem of Negative Value Suits (January 4, 2010). International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1162268

Jef De Mot

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Faculty of Law ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Ben Depoorter (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Stanford CIS ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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