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Irrational actors and tort law

Via Robinette/TortsProf, a new paper entitled The Free Radicals of Tort by Mark Grady (UCLA) on SSRN. Abstract:

Rational and irrational people are typically held to an identical tort standard when it is a question of their own liability. On the other hand, when it is a question of whether someone else has encouraged some dangerous behavior, as under the doctrines of duty and proximate cause, the encouragers will be liable only when the persons were part of a group whose members typically lack rationality. The courts' apparent purpose is to prevent accidents in every way possible even if it means diluting the incentives of irrational people in order to increase the incentives of responsible people to refrain from creating tempting opportunities for them.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.