A Law & Economics Perspective on a 'Traditional' Torts Case: Insights for Classroom and Courtroom

43 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2008

See all articles by Robert H. Lande

Robert H. Lande

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: Spring 1992


This article is from a symposium, "Five Approaches to Legal Reasoning in the Classroom: Contrasting Perspectives on O'Brien v. Cunard S.S. Co. Ltd.," 57 Missouri L. Rev. 345 (1992). The symposium contains five articles that analyze this case from, respectively, traditionalist, Law & Economics, Critical Legal Studies, Feminist, and Critical Race Theories perspectives.

This article analyzes the O'Brien case from a Law & Economics perspective. It does so in a manner suitable for presentation in a Torts class or a Law & Economics class. It explains the basic terminology and approach. It analyzes the economics underlying the vaccination requirement, whether Cunard should be liable for its physician's negligence, and the informed consent/battery issues. Its analysis includes the possible effects of various Tort decision rules on behavior modification, and it also analyzes the distributive effects of these rules on all parties involved. It does this for both the short term and the long term. It undertakes this analysis with the goal of introducing the Law & Economics approach to legal reasoning to law students.

Keywords: Cunard Steamship Co., Torts education, Law & Economics education, Torts class, Law & Economics class, legal education, legal reasoning, approaches to legal reasoning

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Lande, Robert H., A Law & Economics Perspective on a 'Traditional' Torts Case: Insights for Classroom and Courtroom (Spring 1992). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 57, p. 399, 1992, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1302889

Robert H. Lande (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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