Category Archives: Causation

Tory Weigand, ‘Tort Law – The Wrongful Demise of “but for” causation’

ABSTRACT The observation by Professor Dobbs that ‘[t]he substantial factor test is not so much a test as an incantation’ remains compelling. The continued and widespread use of ‘substantial factor’ in lieu of ‘but for’ as the predominate means of defining causation in any multiple defendant or multiple cause case is troubling. ‘Substantial factor’ was […]

James Macleod, ‘Ordinary Causation: A Study in Experimental Statutory Interpretation’

ABSTRACT … This Article considers a novel approach to ordinary meaning statutory interpretation, using these recent causation cases as a proof of concept: To find how people would ordinarily construe statutory language in context, ask a lot of people to apply the disputed language, and observe what they do. In short, to find public meaning, […]

Nicole Summers, ‘Setting the Standard for Proximate Cause in the Wake of Bank of America Corp v City of Miami

ABSTRACT … The Article argues that the Supreme Court and lower courts must adopt a uniform analytical framework for determining proximate cause in statutory claims. The Article demonstrates that the Supreme Court’s failure to do so thus far has produced deep doctrinal incoherence, culminating in the Court’s inability to articulate a standard for proximate cause […]

‘Case Comment: Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2019] UKSC 5′

“The respondent, Mr Perry, is a retired miner. He suffers from a condition known as Vibration White Finger (‘VWF’). VWF is caused by excessive use of vibratory tools. It can cause a reduction in grip strength and manual dexterity in the fingers. Sufferers are often unable to carry out routine domestic tasks, such as gardening […]

Alex Long, ‘Abolishing the Suicide Rule’

ABSTRACT Suicide is increasingly recognized as a public health issue. There are over 40,000 suicides a year in the US, making suicide the tenth-leading cause of death in the country. But societal attitudes on the subject remain decidedly mixed. Suicide is often closely linked to mental illness, a condition that continues to involve stigma and […]

Wayne Courtney, ‘Contract Damages and the Promisee’s Role in its Own Loss’

ABSTRACT In a claim for compensation for breach of contract, various principles take account of the injured party’s own involvement in its loss. This article considers the interaction of three of them: intervening causation, mitigation as avoidable loss, and reliance upon the contract. Judges and academics alike have suggested that there is a connection between […]

Marco Rizzi, ‘A Dangerous Method: Correlations and Proof of Causation in Vaccine Related Injuries’

Abstract In June 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down a complex decision on the liability of vaccine producers. The reference for a preliminary ruling stemmed from a French case in which a hepatitis B vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur allegedly caused personal injury to Mr W in the form […]

Estelle Brosset, ‘Distinguishing between law and science in terms of causation and the hepatitis B vaccine: W v Sanofi Pasteur

Case C-621/15, NW and Others v Sanofi Pasteur MSD and Others, Judgment of the Court of Justice (Second Chamber) of 21 June 2017, EU:C:2017:484. In this preliminary ruling, the Court of Justice, answering the French Supreme Court, ruled that Article 4 of Directive 85/374 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions concerning […]

Andrew Summers, ‘Common-Sense Causation in the Law’

Abstract Judges often invoke ‘common sense’ when deciding questions of legal causation. I draw on empirical evidence to refine the common-sense theory of legal causation developed by Hart and Honoré in Causation in the Law. I show that the two main common-sense principles that Hart and Honoré identified are empirically well founded; I also show […]

Joseph Page, Review of Causation in European Tort Law (Infantino and Zervogianni eds)

“The disarming yet deceptively complex topic of causation in tort law has long fascinated scholars in North America. It also provides a formidable challenge that the ‘Common Core of European Private Law’ publishing project has now confronted as part of its ambitious endeavor to identify and analyze the commonalities and divergences that characterize European private […]