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Wrongfulness as a Necessary Cause of the Losses - Removing an Alleged Difference between Strict Liability and Negligence

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18836/2178-0587/ealr.v2n2p188-203

http://portalrevistas.ucb.br/index.php/EALR/index 

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Louis Visscher1

 

Resumo: Em vários artigos de Análise Econômica do Direito sobre responsabilidade civil extracontratual ênfase tem sido dada a uma suposta diferença entre responsabilidade objetiva e subjetiva. Na responsabilidade objetiva o ofensor é responsável pelas perdas de uma vítima independentemente de seu nível de cautela. Já no caso de responsabilidade subjetiva, o ofensor não é responsabilizado se tomou, ao menos, o nível de cautela juridicamente exigido. De acordo com a literatura predominante na AED, essa característica da responsabilidade subjetiva criaria uma descontinuidade nos custos privados esperados do ofensor. Nesse artigo, argumento que essa descontinuidade inexiste na realidade, pois os Tribunais, ao aplicarem a responsabilidade subjetiva, exigem que a negligência seja a causa necessária do acidente. Assim sendo, se o modelo adotado na análise econômica da responsabilidade civil não reflete a essência do desse corpo de regras, não será capaz de gerar previsões adequadas ou recomendações úteis.

Palavras-chave: Nexo de Causalidade, Indenização Incompleta, Prova, Alternativa Legal, Responsabilidade Objetiva, Responsabilidade Subjetiva.

 

Abstract: In several Law and Economics publications in the area of tort law, emphasis is being placed on an alleged difference between strict liability and negligence. Under strict liability, an injurer is liable for the losses of the victim, irrespective of his level of care. Under negligence, the injurer is not liable if he took at least the legally required care level. According to the mainstream Law and Economics literature, this feature of negligence causes a discontinuity in the expected private costs of the injurer. In this paper, I argue that this discontinuity does not exist in reality, because courts, when applying the negligence rule, require that the negligence was a necessary cause of the accident. After all, if the model adopted in economic analyses of tort law does not reflect the essence of this body of law, it will not be able to yield correct predictions or valuable policy recommendations.

Key words: Causation, Incomplete Compensation, Judgment Proof, Lawful Alternative, Negligence, Strict Liability.

 

1 Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics Erasmus School of Law. E-mail: visscher@law.eur.nl.

 

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