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Double-Edged Torts: Incentives and Precautions Behind a Veil of Role-Uncertainty

By Barbara Luppi, Parisi Francesco and Pi Daniel


Many tort cases are characterized by two interrelated elements: \u201crole uncertainty\u201d, which occurs when individuals take precautions ignorant of their roles in future accidents and availability of \u201cdual-effect precautions\u201d, which reduce both the probability of an individual becoming an injurer and the probability that the same individual will become a victim of someone else\u2019s negligence. In this paper, we extend the traditional model to account for role-uncertainty and dual-effect precautions. We find that in these situations, the traditional formulation of Negligence fails to incentivize efficient precautions, inducing excessive role-specific precautions and insufficient dual-effect precautions. For such cases, we argue for a modification of the standard of due care that accounts for the full benefit of dual-effect precautions, in order to incentivize efficient precautionary efforts

Topics: Role-uncertainty Dual-effect precautions Precaution externalities Restatement (Third) of Torts (2010) \ua73
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.irle.2015.10.003
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