Friday, February 1, 2008
Deterrence and compensation goals should be distinguished, and compensation priorities should change in response to the deterrence goal. This has immediate implications for the problem of handling marginal and fraudulent claims in asbestos litigation. Where the deterrence goals come to the forefront, for example in instances of reckless exposure, it may be desirable for courts to require defendants to pay damages that are not transferred to any claimants. Where the deterrence goals are less compelling, as in instances of ordinary negligence, the importance of weeding out marginal and fraudulent claims becomes paramount. I consider optimal penalties for attorneys who bundle fraudulent claims.
This paper was presented at Southwestern last month as part of a major symposium on "Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation."