Christopher Robinette, ‘Harmonizing Wrongs and Compensation’

… The goal of this Article is to advocate for this synthesis as a general approach to tort theory. Incorporating compensation into tort law would match the motivations of many parties in the tort system and help improve its administration. I practiced tort law for seven years, usually representing plaintiffs. Some of my clients were interested in vindication, but the majority were motivated by compensation, by which I mean they needed money to pay their medical bills and replace lost wages. There is a problem, however, with sending both types of plaintiffs into the same tort system. Tort law, particularly negligence, is uncertain, and that uncertainty leads to delay and transaction costs as lawyers and experts dispute liability and damages. For plaintiffs interested in vindication, perhaps the time needed to pay close attention to the facts and circumstances makes sense. After all, determining whether one has been wronged is a serious inquiry. Those features, however, are counterproductive to compensating the injured. A system of tort law that is able to vindicate rights in proper cases, but also efficiently compensate harms in others, would be ideal …

Christopher J Robinette, Harmonizing Wrongs and Compensation, 80 Maryland Law Review 343 (2021).

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