September 18, 2006
As many profs approach the start of teaching negligence, thoughts turn to the delights of the element of duty. One example that often works well for me in discussing duty -- and in particular in discussing the creation of new no-duty rules -- arises from lawsuits alleging fault for obesity and obesity-related illnesses.
Ted Frank has a new article on the various cases that might be considered related to such cases, and points out that a substantial chunk have nothing to do with obesity, but merely with food ingredients, misrepresentations, etc. There appear to be very few "pure" obesity suits.
I'm also fond of using two congressional bills -- the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act of 2005 and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act -- to discuss the concept of creating new no-duty rules, in particular who the proper entity is to create such rules.
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