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Expert opinion in a tort litigation game

Author

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  • Yves Oytana

    (LCE - Laboratoire Chrono-environnement - UFC (UMR 6249) - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté, CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques (EA 3190) - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté)

  • Nathalie Chappe

    (CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques (EA 3190) - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté, LCE - Laboratoire Chrono-environnement - UFC (UMR 6249) - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté)

Abstract

We investigate the potential impact of various proposed reforms intended to improve the quality of expert testimony while reducing its cost, and to facilitate the work of judges in appointing experts and reading their reports. To do so, we present a unilateral care model under strict liability in which the court cannot perfectly observe the amount of harm a tortfeasor has caused to a victim. However, the judge may appoint an expert to improve his chance of reaching a correct decision. In this context, we find that the likelihood of a victim filing a lawsuit decreases with the quality of the expert testimony and with the cost of the expertise procedure, and increases with the non-monetary cost for the judge to appoint an expert. Moreover, we find that the e↵ects of these parameters on the injurer's level of precaution are ambiguous. We also find that the injurer's level of care is suboptimal. Finally, we make some public policy recommendations in order to (i) increase the injurer's level of care and (ii) reduce the expected cost of a trial in the event of an accident. We find that the policy maker faces a trade-o↵ between these two objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Yves Oytana & Nathalie Chappe, 2016. "Expert opinion in a tort litigation game," Working Papers hal-01413908, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01413908
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01413908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Litigation; Expert; Expert testimony; Liability;

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