Causation is a source of confusion in tort theory, as well as a flash point between consequentialist and deontological legal theorists. Consequentialists argue that causation is generally determined by the policy grounds for negligence, not by a technical analysis of the facts. Conversely, deontologists reject the view that policy motives determine causation findings. Causation has also generated different approaches within the consequentialist school. In this chapter I try to bring some order to the arguments on causation by isolating key elements of the cases and introducing a “causation tree” that highlights the role of information. A better model of causation may help to resolve the arguments between different schools of tort theory, and to reconcile conflicting models within the consequentialist school.
Hylton, Keith N., Causation in Tort Law: A Reconsideration (July 23, 2013). Research Handbook on the Economics Of Torts, (Jennifer Arlen, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013), Forthcoming; Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 13-30; Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-30.