Tort Liability and Unawareness

52 Pages Posted: 29 May 2018 Last revised: 9 Apr 2019

See all articles by Surajeet Chakravarty

Surajeet Chakravarty

University of Exeter Business School

David Kelsey

University of Exeter Business School - Department of Economics

Joshua C. Teitelbaum

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: April 1, 2019

Abstract

Unawareness is a form of bounded rationality where a person fails to conceive all feasible acts or consequences or to perceive as feasible all conceivable act-consequence links. We study the implications of unawareness for tort law, where relevant examples include the discovery of a new product or technology (new act), of a new disease or injury (new consequence), or that a product can cause an injury (new link). We argue that negligence has an important advantage over strict liability in a world with unawareness—negligence, through the stipulation of due care standards, spreads awareness about the updated probability of harm.

Keywords: negligence, strict liability, tort law, unawareness

JEL Classification: D83, K13

Suggested Citation

Chakravarty, Surajeet and Kelsey, David and Teitelbaum, Joshua C., Tort Liability and Unawareness (April 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179753 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3179753

Surajeet Chakravarty

University of Exeter Business School ( email )

Xfi Building, Rennes Dr.
Exeter, EX4 4JH
United Kingdom

David Kelsey

University of Exeter Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

Streatham Court
Exeter, Devon EX4 4PU
United Kingdom
013 9226 2536 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/dk210/

Joshua C. Teitelbaum (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-661-6589 (Phone)

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