Not a Chance: Comments on Waddams, The Valuation of Chances

Canadian Business Law Journal, 1998, Vol. 30

9 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013

See all articles by Vaughan Black

Vaughan Black

Dalhousie University - Law School

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

In "The Valuation of Chances" Stephen Waddams advances arguments to persuade Canadian courts to be more receptive to the doctrine of loss of chance. He maintains that the courts should show greater willingness to assess instances of causal uncertainty on the basis of simple probabilities, rather than by an all-or-nothing balance of probabilities approach. Under simple probabilities, plaintiffs who are only able to show that it was 25% likely that the defendant caused their loss would still obtain judgment for a 25% valuation of that loss. While many (but not all) of Waddams' arguments strike me as appealing, they all raise a further issue. On the assumption, which Waddams appears to share, that not all instances of factual uncertainty should be assessed on a probabilistic basis, where should we draw the line between the two modes of responding to uncertainty?

Keywords: loss of chance, uncertainty

Suggested Citation

Black, Vaughan, Not a Chance: Comments on Waddams, The Valuation of Chances (1998). Canadian Business Law Journal, 1998, Vol. 30, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2310172

Vaughan Black (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Law School ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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