Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Motivation and Tort Law: Acting for Economic Gain as a Suspect Motive

47 Pages Posted: 9 May 2009  

Martin A. Kotler

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: January 1, 1988

Abstract

Traditionally, tort scholars had claimed that the motives underlying a tortfeasor's decision to act were largely irrelevant. This Article challenges that view by showing the recurring importance of motive. Specifically, whether the actor is perceived to have been motivated by a desire for personal economic gain or, conversely, motivated by altruism correlates closely with the development of tort doctrine imposing liability on the former and immunizing the latter.

The observation that the economically motivated actor has been disfavored historically contradicts much of the descriptive and normative law and economics literature which argued that wealth maximizing behavior was and should be promoted by the legal system.

Keywords: torts, tort law, motivation, motive, personal gain

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Kotler, Martin A., Motivation and Tort Law: Acting for Economic Gain as a Suspect Motive (January 1, 1988). Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 41, 1988. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1401519

Martin A. Kotler (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
61
Rank
301,240
Abstract Views
864