Quantum Tort Law
PhD student: Mr A. Romano
Promotor: Prof L.T. Visscher
Duration: 1/1/2011 - 31/12/2014
PhD defence: Rotterdam, 7/12/2015
Law scholars have largely adopted two antithetical perspectives with regards to the debate on causation in the scientific and in the philosophical arena. On the one hand, it has been argued that the traditional but for test conforms to philosophers and scientists idea of causation; on the other hand, it has been affirmed that causation in the law has little (if anything) to do with philosophical or scientific considerations. Bearing in mind that the law aims at providing practical answers in a concrete world, the former perspective appears to be false, while the latter is extremely dangerous. To shy away from the debate on such crucial issue creates problems that frustrate the basic purposes of the law. Not surprisingly, every time the law is confronted with the findings of modern science generally expressed in terms of probabilistic relations insurmountable problems arise. The aim of this research is to explore the role that probabilistic considerations should play within the law in the wake of the findings of modern science. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach (philosophy, economics, and law), an alternative to the traditional legal (deterministic) concept of causation will be developed. Special attention will be given to areas in which the traditional approach has proven to be inadequate: toxic torts, medical malpractice, and gatekeepers liability.