The Tort-Proof Plaintiff: The Drunk in the Automobile, Crashworthiness Claims, and the Restatement (Third) of Torts

20 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2010  

Ellen M. Bublick

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: September 25, 2009

Abstract

This article, for the Brooklyn Law School Symposium on the 10th Anniversary of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability, looks at the difficult challenge courts face when they review crashworthiness claims that arise in conjunction with drunk driving. These claims highlight the difficulty of preserving structural accountability in tort law after the shift toward apportionment of liability that includes intentional, reckless and strict liability torts as well as negligence. The article suggests that certain court-created causal-apportionment doctrines help to preserve structural accountability. It also urges a more systematic confrontation of structural accountability questions in comparative responsibility systems like those recommended by the Restatement of Torts.

Keywords: Restatement of Torts, Crashworthiness, Drunk Driving, Intentional Torts, Comparative Responsibility

Suggested Citation

Bublick, Ellen M., The Tort-Proof Plaintiff: The Drunk in the Automobile, Crashworthiness Claims, and the Restatement (Third) of Torts (September 25, 2009). Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 74, p. 707, 2009; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 09-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1660529

Ellen M. Bublick (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

James E. Rogers College of Law
1201 E. Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
(520) 621-5600 (Phone)
(520) 621-9140 (Fax)

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