Strict Liability Versus Negligence in Indiana Harbor

25 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2007

See all articles by Alan Sykes

Alan Sykes

Stanford University - Law School

Date Written: January 2007


Judge Richard Posner's opinion in Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. v. American Cyanamid Co. offers an economic interpretation of Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 520, which imposes strict liability on actors who conduct abnormally dangerous activities. This paper, which was prepared for a University of Chicago Law Review Symposium in honor of Judge Posner, provides a critique of the opinion and argues that Judge Posner's analysis is at many points unpersuasive. The problem lies in substantial part with the questionable logic of the Restatement criteria for the assignment of strict liability.

Suggested Citation

Sykes, Alan, Strict Liability Versus Negligence in Indiana Harbor (January 2007). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 332. Available at SSRN: or

Alan Sykes (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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