Desert, harm reduction, and moral education: The case for a tortfeasor penalty

Res Publica 9 (2):127-147 (2003)
Those found liable for negligently injuring others are required to compensate them, but current practices permit most tort feasors to spread the costs of their liability burdens through the purchase of insurance. Those found guilty of criminal offences, however, are not allowed to shift the burdens of their sentences onto others. Yet the reasons for not allowing criminal offenders to shift such burdens – harm reduction, retribution, and moral education – also appear to retain some force in relation to negligent tort feasors. Arguments for and against limiting the abilities of negligent tort feasors to spread such costs, thus imposing a penalty on them, are discussed. The conclusion reached is that further consideration of such a penalty is warranted.
Keywords desert  harm reduction  moral education  negligence  tort law
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