Proximate Cause Decoded

Posted: 19 Dec 2008

See all articles by Mark F. Grady

Mark F. Grady

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: December 17, 2008


Some have seen the doctrine of proximate cause as an especially incoherent feature of negligence law. This Article demonstrates that the doctrine is far more regular than many have supposed. Proximate cause is really two doctrines at the same time, one directed toward cases with multiple causes and another directed toward cases with multiple risks. Each doctrine includes distinct paradigms leading to either liability or nonliability. When we sort problem cases between these paradigms, we can reliably predict how the courts will decide them.

Keywords: proximate cause, negligence liability

Suggested Citation

Grady, Mark F., Proximate Cause Decoded (December 17, 2008). UCLA Law Review, Vol. 50, pp. 293-335, 2002, UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 08-21, Available at SSRN:

Mark F. Grady (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

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