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The Death Of Causation: Mass Products Torts' Incomplete Incorporation Of Social Welfare Principles, Donald G. Gifford
Legal actions against the manufacturers of disease-causing products, such as cigarettes and asbestos insulation, have redefined the landscape of tort liability during the past generation. These actions bedevil courts, because any particular victim often is unable to identify the manufacturer whose product caused her harm. Increasingly, but inconsistently, courts allow victims to recover without proof of individualized causation. This article argues that instrumental approaches seek to turn mass products tort law into the equivalent of a social welfare program, not unlike workers’ compensation or Social Security. As with any such program, the accident compensation system must include compensation entitlement boundaries ...