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Rehabilitating Tort Compensation

Ellen S. Pryor

UNT Dallas College of Law


Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 91, p. 659, 2003

What it means to fully compensate a plaintiff can depend on whether one approaches the question from an efficiency perspective, a corrective justice view, or some other normative stance. One formulation of “compensation” is prominent in theoretical work and in the day-to-day operation of the tort system: compensation is the payment of a sum of money that will restore the plaintiff to the status quo ante, to the extent money can do so. This paper argues that this view of compensation has several core failings that have been noticed too little by courts and scholars. In addition, a different concept of compensation – rehabilitation as compensation – should become a more dominant theme in tort practice and theory. This would help illuminate and address several key topics: (1) problems with tort law’s current definition of “medical and rehabilitative expenses”; (2) the role of the plaintiff in the rehabilitative process; (3) the responsibilities of the plaintiff’s lawyer with respect to rehabilitation, and (4) counter-rehabilitative features of tort not already emphasized in the tort literature.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: rehabilitation, tort, damages

JEL Classification: K13, K41

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Date posted: May 12, 2010 ; Last revised: August 4, 2010

Suggested Citation

Pryor, Ellen S., Rehabilitating Tort Compensation (2003). Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 91, p. 659, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1604836

Contact Information

Ellen S. Pryor (Contact Author)
UNT Dallas College of Law ( email )
1901 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201
United States
(214) 752-5959 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.untsystem.edu
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