The Free Radicals of Tort
Supreme Court Economic Review, Vol. 11, pp. 189-218, 2004
38 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2008
Date Written: December 17, 2008
Rational and irrational people are typically held to an identical tort standard when it is a question of their own liability. On the other hand, when it is a question of whether someone else has encouraged some dangerous behavior, as under the doctrines of duty and proximate cause, the encouragers will be liable only when the persons were part of a group whose members typically lack rationality. The courts' apparent purpose is to prevent accidents in every way possible even if it means diluting the incentives of irrational people in order to increase the incentives of responsible people to refrain from creating tempting opportunities for them.
Keywords: Tort law, doctrine of duty and proximate cause, the EFR doctrine
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