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A New Approach to Estimating Damages in Mass Torts

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  • Atanu Saha
  • Lynette Hilton
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    Abstract

    Damage estimation in mass torts involving hazardous or defective products is often complicated by the unknown time-profile of disease incidence or failure rate. Because these cases involve diseases with long latencies or involve products that fail after years of productive use, estimation of the defendants' future liability stream requires a model that can predict how the failure rate or the onset of the disease will change over time.This paper proposes such a model. The estimation technique allows one to compute the 'excess risk' attributable to the hazard or product defect distinct from the natural causes of failure or disease incidence and to calculate the defendants' future liability stream based on the estimates of failure or incidence rates. An application to product failure illustrates the working of the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 27-46

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:7:y:2000:i:1:p:27-46

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CIJB20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Product Liability; Hazard; Expo-POWER;

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    1. Schmidt, Peter & Witte, Ann Dryden, 1989. "Predicting criminal recidivism using 'split population' survival time models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 141-159, January.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
    3. Donald Haurin, 1988. "The Duration of Marketing Time of Residential Housing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 16(4), pages 396-410.
    4. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
    5. Timothy J. Gronberg & W. Robert Reed, 1994. "Estimating Workers' Marginal Willingness to Pay for Job Attributes Using Duration Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 911-931.
    6. Bandopadhyaya, Arindam, 1994. "An Estimation of the Hazard Rate of Firms under Chapter 11 Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 346-50, May.
    7. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
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