Saturday, November 15, 2008
Adam Scales (W&L) has posted his review of Kenneth Abraham's The Liability Century on SSRN. Here's a sample:
In this Book Review, I provide an overview of Abraham's major themes, comment on their persuasiveness, and offer some direction to readers for other sources they might wish to consider. As the passage above suggests, Abraham's thesis is that tort law and liability insurance enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Although tort law emerged first, and necessitated the development of insurance, each system has deeply influenced the other's path. Like the binary star, neither would be anything like its present self without the influence of the other.
Binary systems, however, form in nature. Abraham examines several instances in which the interaction of the very human institutions of tort and insurance law frustrated the hopes of their planners. The book is divided into eight chapters. Chapter One introduces the reader to the evolution of personal injury law and liability insurance. Chapters Two though Five each tackle discrete areas of reform throughout the modern history of liability law. Chapters Six and Eight further flesh out the major themes of the book, while Chapter Seven considers the legal response to mass disasters, including 9/11.