Do Exposure Suits Produce a "Race to File"? An Economic Analysis of a Tort for Risk
Conventional tort law does not allow exposure victims to seek compensation until they develop symptoms of illness. Because this may bar recovery if the injurer is judgment proof, some have advocated allowing victims to sue at exposure. However, critics charge that such a tort for risk would create a "race to file". We show that a race may or may not occur in equilibrium, and that when it does occur, not all victims choose to file even if bankruptcy is an inevitable result. We examine the consequences of the possible equilibria on compensation of victims, litigation costs, and injurer care.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2004|
|Note:||We thank Patrick Gonzalez, Raymond Deneckere (editor), two referees, participants at the annual American Law and Economics Association Meetings, Harvard Univ., May 2002, the CIRANO-IDEI-LEERNA Conference on Regulation, Liability, and the Management of Major Industrial/Environmental Risks, Toulouse, France, June 2003, and colleagues at the University of Connecticut for useful comments on earlier versions of this paper.|
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