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Lecture10-30 - manage future risks without chilling...

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Lecture: Tuesday 10/30 Overview of Part III Tort/Insurance- cultural constraints and the development of policy through the courts Environmental Law- the interaction between institutional constraints and policy complexity Employment Discrimination- putting the pieces together The goal: generate hypotheses about the nature of constraints on judicial policy- making in the U.S. The Problem with Technology Obviously, technology—broadly understood in terms of new products, processes —has vastly improved the quality of life in a variety of ways… But technology has its price Despite efforts to improve the distribution, marketing and testing of technology, harmful and defective products, processes and practices will inevitably emerge… In a fast-paced, mobile and affluent society, these risks are amplified and widely distributed. The policy problem is how to compensate victims of unsafe technologies and
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Unformatted text preview: manage future risks without chilling innovation too much • In the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the role of courts in addressing some of these risks: namely the risks of injury and environmental degradation Definition • Tort law- brand of civil law, which deals with wrongful acts involving injuries to person, property or reputation (Note: it excludes damages resulting from a breach of contract.) • Insurance- a private contract or public regulatory system, which spreads the risk of individual loss Why the Change? Friedman Arguments • Spread of Insurance (which eliminates risk of bankrupting key businesses) • Rise in public expectation for compensation (both because of rise in insurance and liberalization of tort law) • Technological advances (especially in industrial design) • Increase in social distance (and hence greater reliance on courts)...
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