Proximate Cause Decoded
Posted: 19 Dec 2008
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: Suggested Citation