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Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein Aug 2005

Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper is a critique of Margaret Berger and Aaron Twerski, “Uncertainty and Informed Choice: Unmasking Daubert”, forthcoming the Michigan Law Review. Berger and Twerski propose that courts recognize a cause of action that would allow plaintiffs who claim injury from pharmaceutical products, but who do not have sufficient evidence to prove causation, to recover damages for deprivation of informed choice. Berger and Twerski claim inspiration from the litigation over allegations that the morning sickness drug Bendectin caused birth defects. Considering the criteria Berger and Twerski suggest for their proposed cause of action in the context of Bendectin, it appears …


Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci Mar 2005

Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Judges have a tendency to be more demanding than regulators. In the United States, a majority of the courts has adopted the rule that the unexcused violation of a statutory standard is negligence per se. However, the converse does not hold: compliance with regulation does not relieve the injurer of tort liability. In most European legal systems, the outcome is similar. We use a framework in which, on the one hand, the effects of tort law are undermined by insolvency and evidence problems and, on the other hand, regulation is expensive in terms of monitoring and information gathering. We show …


Soft Negligence And Cause In Fact: A Comment On Ganuza And Gomez, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci Oct 2004

Soft Negligence And Cause In Fact: A Comment On Ganuza And Gomez, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Lowering the standard of negligence below the first-best socially optimal level has been shown by Ganuza and Gomez (2004) to increase the level of care taken by judgment proof injurers. In this paper, I consider a more complex model of negligence in which cause in fact is taken into account, and I show that this conclusion holds when the injurer’s care reduces the magnitude of the accidental harm but not when the injurer’s care reduces the probability of the accident. Thus, such soft negligence strategies aimed at tackling the adverse effects of judgment proofness need to be conditioned to the …