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The Market in Unmatured Tort Claims: Twenty Years Later

Stephen Gary Marks

Boston University - School of Law

March 21, 2011

Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 11-14

In 1989, Professor Robert Cooter argued for changes in the law that would facilitate the development of a market in unmatured tort claims. And yet it remains unadopted in all jurisdictions. There is a reason for this. In this paper I reexamine the proposal as to its likely intended and unintended effects. This article argues that, for such a market to work, three modifications must be made. First, the tort awards must be based on optimal-deterrence-damages rather than full-compensation damages. (The paper provides an explanation of full-compensation damages, optimal-deterrence damages, and optimal-insurance damages.) Second, potential tortfeasors must not be allowed to purchase the claims of their potential victims. Third, agreements between potential tortfeasors and the holders unmatured tort claims must be prohibited.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: torts, tort claims, unmatured, unmatured tort claims, market in unmatured tort claims, damages, optimal deterrence, full compensation, optimal insurance, Cooter, economics, law and economics

JEL Classification: K0, K13

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Date posted: March 21, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Marks, Stephen Gary, The Market in Unmatured Tort Claims: Twenty Years Later (March 21, 2011). Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 11-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1791662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1791662

Contact Information

Stephen Gary Marks (Contact Author)
Boston University - School of Law ( email )
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
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