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Should Victims of Exposure to a Toxic Substance Have an Independent Claim for Medical Monitoring?

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  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Kathleen Segerson

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Traditional tort law does not allow a victim of exposure to a toxic substance to seek damages without evidence of actual loss. Given the difficulty of collecting damages after a long latency period, however, we examine the desirability of granting exposure victims an independent cause of action for medical monitoring at the time of exposure. We show that such a cause of action is not necessary to induce victims to invest in efficient monitoring. It can, however, increase incentives for injurer care, but only at the cost of greater litigation costs. The general reluctance of courts to adopt a cause of action reflects their recognition of this trade-off.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2002-41.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2002-41.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2001
Date of revision: Jan 2002
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2002-41

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Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
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  1. Steven Shavell, 2003. "Economic Analysis of Accident Law," NBER Working Papers 9483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Miceli, Thomas J., 2000. "Deterrence, litigation costs, and the statute of limitations for tort suits," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 383-394, September.
  3. Steven Shavell, 1982. "Torts in Which Victim and Injurer Act Sequentially," NBER Working Papers 0939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven Shavell, 1981. "The Social versus the Private Incentive to Bring Suit in a Costly Legal System," NBER Working Papers 0741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
  6. Hylton, Keith N., 1990. "The influence of litigation costs on deterrence under strict liability and under negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 161-171, September.
  7. Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
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