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Law School News: Elisabeth D'Amelio Chosen As Class Of 2024 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker 5-14-24, Jordan J. Phelan May 2024

Law School News: Elisabeth D'Amelio Chosen As Class Of 2024 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker 5-14-24, Jordan J. Phelan

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Tort Law: Cases And Commentaries, Samuel Beswick May 2024

Tort Law: Cases And Commentaries, Samuel Beswick

All Faculty Publications

Preface

The law of obligations concerns the legal rights and duties owed between people. Three primary categories make up the common law of obligations: tort, contract, and unjust enrichment. This casebook provides an introduction to tort law: the law that recognises and responds to civil wrongdoing. The material is arranged in two main parts. Following a brief introduction (§1), the first main part addresses intentional, dignitary and dishonesty torts as well as corresponding defences and remedies (§2-§10). The focus pivots with a consideration of the overarching theories and goals of tort …


Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha Apr 2024

Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha

All Faculty Scholarship

In August 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked one of the largest public health settlements in history: that of Purdue Pharma, L.P., reached in bankruptcy court. The negotiated bankruptcy settlement approved by the court would give a golden parachute to the very people thought to have ignited the opioid crisis: the Sackler family. As the Supreme Court considers the propriety of immunity through bankruptcy, the case has raised fundamental questions about whether bankruptcy is a proper refuge from tort liability and whether law checks power or law serves power.

Of course, bankruptcy courts often limit liability against a distressed …


America’S “Kia Boys”: The Problem, Responses, And Recommendations, Drew Thornley Jan 2024

America’S “Kia Boys”: The Problem, Responses, And Recommendations, Drew Thornley

Seattle University Law Review Online

The landscape of automobile theft in the United States has undergone a dramatic transformation, marked by a notable surge in the theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Once regarded as a routine occurrence, car thefts have taken on a novel dimension, propelled by a phenomenon driven by digital culture and social media virality. The thefts of these specific car brands have evolved into what is now widely recognized as the "Kia Challenge," a term echoing across popular platforms like TikTok. In this challenge, young teenage individuals, often referred to as the "Kia Boys" or variations thereof, orchestrate daring car heists, …


Making Sense Of Abatement As A Tort Remedy, Anthony J. Sebok Jan 2024

Making Sense Of Abatement As A Tort Remedy, Anthony J. Sebok

Faculty Articles

Controversy over public nuisance in recent high profile cases invites the question of whether, and to what extent, it is limited by its roots in tort law. This article, which was prepared for the 2023 Clifford Symposium on “New Torts” focuses on causes of action in which the state seeks to enjoin the defendant by requiring that it abate the consequences of the invasion of a public right. In the most controversial of these public nuisance actions, such as lead paint and opioids, the wrongful conduct that is remedied by the injunctive relief has already ceased, and the state does …


Anti-Patents, Roy Baharad, Stuart Minor Benjamin, Ehud Gutte Jan 2024

Anti-Patents, Roy Baharad, Stuart Minor Benjamin, Ehud Gutte

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom has long perceived the patent and tort systems as separate legal entities, each tasked with a starkly different mission. Patent law rewards novel ideas; tort law deters harmful conduct. Against this backdrop, this Essay uncovers the opposing effects of patent and tort law on innovation, introducing the "injurer-innovator problem." Patent law incentivizes injurers --often uniquely positioned to make technological breakthroughs--by allowing them to profit from licensing their inventions to competitors. Yet tort law, by imposing liability for failures to invest in care, forces injurers to incur the cost of implementing their own innovations. When the cost of self-implementation …


Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Nov 2023

Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Plaintiffs' Process: Civil Procedure, Mdl, And A Day In Court, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Abbe R. Gluck Jul 2023

Plaintiffs' Process: Civil Procedure, Mdl, And A Day In Court, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Abbe R. Gluck

Scholarly Works

The article focuses on the concept of "plaintiffs process" within the field of civil procedure. It discusses how civil procedure doctrine has traditionally been defendant-centric, focusing on the rights and protections of defendants in legal cases. It examines the role of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in this context and how it impacts plaintiffs rights and access to the courts.


Maurer School Of Law Hosting Icleo Summer Institute Through July, James Owsley Boyd Jun 2023

Maurer School Of Law Hosting Icleo Summer Institute Through July, James Owsley Boyd

Keep Up With the Latest News from the Law School (blog)

No abstract provided.


Differentiating Strict Products Liability’S Cost-Benefit Analysis From Negligence, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Apr 2023

Differentiating Strict Products Liability’S Cost-Benefit Analysis From Negligence, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Dangerous products may give rise to colossal liability for commercial actors. Indeed, in 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Johnson & Johnson v. Ingham, permitting a more than two billion dollar products liability damages award to stand. In his dissenting opinion in another recent products liability case, Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries, Justice Gorsuch declared that “[t]ort law is supposed to be about aligning liability with responsibility.” However, in the products liability context, there have been ongoing debates concerning how best to set legal rules and standards on tort liability. Are general principles of …


Due Process Discontents In Mass-Tort Bankruptcy, J. Maria Glover Apr 2023

Due Process Discontents In Mass-Tort Bankruptcy, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The private law of torts, property, and contracts will and should play an important role in resolving disputes regarding how private individuals and entities respond to and manage the harms of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation (known in climate change policy dialogue as “adaptation”). While adaptation is commonly presented as a problem needing legislative solutions, this Article presents a novel and overdue case for private law to take climate adaptation seriously.

To date, the role of private law is a significant blind spot in scholarly discussions of climate adaptation. Litigation invoking common-law doctrines in climate adaption disputes …


Trolley Problems, Private Necessity, And The Duty To Rescue, Laura A. Heymann Feb 2023

Trolley Problems, Private Necessity, And The Duty To Rescue, Laura A. Heymann

Faculty Publications

Laidlaw v. Sage is generally, at best, an oddity in Torts casebooks today. A case that captured the imagination of New York newspaper readers at the time, Laidlaw involved an explosion that, William Laidlaw argued, the wealthy Russell Sage survived only because, at the last moment, he pulled Laidlaw in front of him to absorb the brunt of the blast. As taught in Torts classrooms, Laidlaw is either a case about the intent requirement for battery or a case about causation. But the case, assuming the plaintiff’s story was true, also provides an interesting window into what would seem to …


Sieracki Lives: A Portrait Of The Interplay Between Legislation And The Judicially Created General Maritime Law, Thomas C. Galligan Jr. Jan 2023

Sieracki Lives: A Portrait Of The Interplay Between Legislation And The Judicially Created General Maritime Law, Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

Journal Articles

In American maritime law, the interplay between the courts and Congress is complex and iterative. A significant body of American admiralty law, the general maritime law, has been judicially created and developed. But Congress has also enacted a number of important statutes governing maritime commerce and the rights of maritime workers, such as the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (“LHWCA”). The back and forth between the courts and Congress in interpreting those statutes and gauging their impact on and consistency with the general maritime law is ongoing. One important area where the courts development of the general maritime law …


Implementing War Torts, Rebecca Crootof Jan 2023

Implementing War Torts, Rebecca Crootof

Law Faculty Publications

Under the law of armed conflict, no entity is accountable for lawful acts in war that cause harm, and accountability mechanisms for unlawful acts (like war crimes) rarely create a right to compensation for victims. Accordingly, states now regularly create bespoke institutions, like the proposed International Claims Commission for Ukraine, to resolve mass claims associated with international crises. While helpful for specific and politically popular populations, these one-off institutions have limited jurisdiction and thus limited effect. Creating an international “war torts” regime—which would establish route to compensation for civilians harmed in armed conflict—would better address this accountability gap for all …


From Comprehensive Liability To Climate Liability: The Case For A Climate Adaptation Resilience And Liability Act (Carla), Anthony Moffa Jan 2023

From Comprehensive Liability To Climate Liability: The Case For A Climate Adaptation Resilience And Liability Act (Carla), Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) created a uniquely broad and powerful scheme of statutory liability for environmental cleanup of contaminated sites. CERCLA famously imposes strict, retroactive, joint and severable liability. One might wonder, especially through the lens of contemporary partisanship, how such a powerful, comprehensive liability scheme passed through Congress in 1980. In large part, CERCLA’s passage can be attributed to historical context that may appear wholly unique at first blush. Now, the world confronts another watershed of environmental history and past actors face a potential flood of liability. Much of the situation is different in …


Litigating Partial Autonomy, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2023

Litigating Partial Autonomy, Cassandra Burke Robertson

Faculty Publications

Who is responsible when a semi-autonomous vehicle crashes? Automobile manufacturers claim that because Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) require constant human oversight even when autonomous features are active, the driver is always fully responsible when supervised autonomy fails. This Article argues that the automakers’ position is likely wrong both descriptively and normatively. On the descriptive side, current products liability law offers a pathway toward shared legal responsibility. Automakers, after all, have engaged in numerous marketing efforts to gain public trust in automation features. When drivers’ trust turns out to be misplaced, drivers are not always able to react in a …


Idaho's Law Of Seduction, Michael L. Smith Jan 2023

Idaho's Law Of Seduction, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Seduction is a historical cause of action that permitted women's fathers to bring suit on their daughters' behalf in sexual assault and rape cases. This tort emerged long ago when the law's refusal to recognize women's agency left this as the only means of recovering damages in these cases. As time went on, the tort evolved, and women were eventually permitted to bring lawsuits for seduction on their own behalf. Today, most states have abolished seduction, along with other torts permitting recovery for damages arising from intimate conduct. One could be easily forgiven for thinking that such an archaic tort …


Understanding Intellectual Property: Expression, Function, And Individuation, Mala Chatterjee Jan 2023

Understanding Intellectual Property: Expression, Function, And Individuation, Mala Chatterjee

Faculty Scholarship

Underlying the fundamental structure of intellectual property law — specifically, the division between copyright and patent law — are at least two substantive philosophical assumptions. The first is that artistic works and inventions are importantly different, such that they warrant different legal systems: copyright law on the one hand, and patent law on the other. And the second is that particular artistic works and inventions can be determinately individuated from each other, and can thereby be the subjects of distinct and delineated legal rights. But neither the law nor existing scholarship provides a comprehensive analysis of these categories, what distinguishes …


The Deep Architecture Of American Covid-19 Tort Reform 2020-21, Anthony J. Sebok Apr 2022

The Deep Architecture Of American Covid-19 Tort Reform 2020-21, Anthony J. Sebok

Faculty Articles

The rapid emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic produced massive state actions to protect in public health through the exercise of the police powers by local, state and national governments. In the United States there were calls early in the crisis to exercise the state’s power over tort law: As early as April 2020, the American Tort Reform Association published a White Paper, Responding to the Coming Lawsuit Surge that called for “reasonable constraints on . . . lawsuits that pose an obstacle to the coronavirus response effort, place businesses in jeopardy, and further damage the economy.”

This article, prepared for …


Emotional Distress Recovery For Mishandling Of Human Remains: A Fifty State Survey, Christopher Ogolla Jan 2022

Emotional Distress Recovery For Mishandling Of Human Remains: A Fifty State Survey, Christopher Ogolla

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Third Restatement, Duty, And Foreseeability, Michael K. Steenson Jan 2022

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Third Restatement, Duty, And Foreseeability, Michael K. Steenson

Faculty Scholarship

The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm (the “Third Restatement”) was adopted by the American Law Institute in 2010. The approach taken by the Third Restatement to negligence law excludes foreseeability from the duty determination and places it squarely as a relevant factor in the breach issue; it adopts the “but-for” standard for causation; and rejects proximate cause terminology, instead utilizing a scope of liability approach in which the key question is whether the harms that occurred were of the same general type that made the actor’s conduct tortious. Removal of foreseeability from the duty determination …


Perceptions Of Justice In Multidistrict Litigation: Voices From The Crowd, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams Jan 2022

Perceptions Of Justice In Multidistrict Litigation: Voices From The Crowd, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams

Scholarly Works

With all eyes on criminal justice reform, multidistrict litigation (MDL) has quietly reshaped civil justice, undermining fundamental tenets of due process, procedural justice, attorney ethics, and tort law along the way. In 2020, the MDL caseload tripled that of the federal criminal caseload, one out of every two cases filed in federal civil court was an MDL case, and 97% of those were products liability like opioids, talc, and Roundup.

Ordinarily, civil procedure puts tort plaintiffs in the driver’s seat, allowing them to choose who and where to sue, and what claims to bring. Procedural justice tells courts to ensure …


Anti-Subordination Torts, Scott Skinner-Thompson Jan 2022

Anti-Subordination Torts, Scott Skinner-Thompson

Publications

No abstract provided.


Legislating Data Loyalty, Woodrow Hartzog, Neil Richards Jan 2022

Legislating Data Loyalty, Woodrow Hartzog, Neil Richards

Faculty Scholarship

Lawmakers looking to embolden privacy law have begun to consider imposing duties of loyalty on organizations trusted with people’s data and online experiences. The idea behind loyalty is simple: organizations should not process data or design technologies that conflict with the best interests of trusting parties. But the logistics and implementation of data loyalty need to be developed if the concept is going to be capable of moving privacy law beyond its “notice and consent” roots to confront people’s vulnerabilities in their relationship with powerful data collectors.

In this short Essay, we propose a model for legislating data loyalty. Our …


The Surprising Virtues Of Data Loyalty, Woodrow Hartzog, Neil M. Richards Jan 2022

The Surprising Virtues Of Data Loyalty, Woodrow Hartzog, Neil M. Richards

Faculty Scholarship

Lawmakers in the United States and Europe are seriously considering imposing duties of data loyalty that implement ideas from privacy law scholarship, but critics claim such duties are unnecessary, unworkable, overly individualistic, and indeterminately vague. This paper takes those criticisms seriously, and its analysis of them reveals that duties of data loyalty have surprising virtues. Loyalty, it turns out, can support collective well-being by embracing privacy’s relational turn; it can be a powerful state of mind for reenergizing privacy reform; it prioritizes human values rather than potentially empty formalism; and it offers solutions that are flexible and clear rather than …


Law School News: Rwu Law Remembers Sarah Weddington 12/30/2021, Michael M. Bowden Dec 2021

Law School News: Rwu Law Remembers Sarah Weddington 12/30/2021, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Absolute Publishing Power And Bulletproof Immunity: How Section 230 Shields Internet Service Providers From Liability And Makes It Impossible To Protect Your Reputation Online, Victoria Anderson Oct 2021

Absolute Publishing Power And Bulletproof Immunity: How Section 230 Shields Internet Service Providers From Liability And Makes It Impossible To Protect Your Reputation Online, Victoria Anderson

Seattle University Law Review Online

No abstract provided.


Public Policy And The Insurability Of Cyber Risk, Asaf Lubin Apr 2021

Public Policy And The Insurability Of Cyber Risk, Asaf Lubin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

In June 2017, the food and beverage conglomerate Mondelez International became a victim of the NotPetya ransomware attack. Around 1,700 of its servers and 24,000 of the company’s laptops were suddenly and permanently unusable. Commercial supply and distribution disruptions, theft of credentials from many users, and unfulfilled customer orders soon followed, leading to losses that totaled more than $100 million. Unfortunately, Zurich, which had sold the company a property insurance policy that included a variety of coverages, informed Mondelez in 2018 that cyber coverage would be denied under the policy based on the “war exclusion clause.” This case, now pending, …


Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells Apr 2021

Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells

Scholarly Works

Qualified immunity protects officials from damages for constitutional violations unless they have violated "clearly established" rights. Local governments enjoy no immunity, but they may not be sued on a vicarious liability theory for constitutional violations committed by their employees. Critics of the current regime would overturn these rules in order to vindicate constitutional rights and deter violations.

This Article argues that across-the-board abolition of these limits on liability would be unwise as the costs would outweigh the benefits. In some contexts, however, exceptions may be justified. Much of the recent controversy surrounding qualified immunity involves suits in which police officers …