بازدارندگی، هزینه های شکایت های قانونی و قانون محدودیت هایی برای لباس های شبه جرم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|17810||2000||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4851 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01448188, Volume 20, Issue 3, September 2000, Pages 383–394
The conventional justification for a statute of limitations on tort suits (or any other legal claim) is that evidence deteriorates over time, thereby increasing the likelihood of legal error.1 The optimal statute balances this cost of a longer statute length against the dilution in deterrence that results from a shorter length. In this paper I develop a formal model to show that a finite statute length is optimal even in a world without the possibility of legal error. The trade-off involves only litigation costs and deterrence: while a shorter statute reduces deterrence, it also saves on litigation costs by limiting the number of suits that can be filed. I examine this trade-off under both strict liability and under negligence, and show that the optimal statute length is (probably) shorter under strict liability than under negligence. Intuitively, the marginal benefit of lengthening the statute is higher under a negligence rule because, by increasing the length of time over which victims can file suit, deterrence is enhanced, which in turn reduces the likelihood that a given injurer will be found negligent. Thus, fewer victims file suits at each point in time because their chances of winning are reduced. As a result, litigation costs fall, which partially offsets the extra litigation costs when the statute is lengthened. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 sets up the basic model, Section 3 derives the optimal statute of limitations for a strict liability rule, and Section 4 repeats the analysis for a negligence rule. Section 5 then offers some informal evidence in support of the theory based on the enactment of statutes of repose for products liability cases, the emergence of the rule of discovery under negligence law, and differences in the statute of limitations for trespass versus nuisance cases. Finally, Section 6 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has developed a formal model of statutes of limitations for tort suits based on the trade-off between deterrence and litigation costs. While a longer statute enhances deterrence by confronting injurers with more lawsuits, it increases litigation costs. The optimal statute length balances these effects at the margin. A notable feature of the model is that, in contrast to conventional arguments in favor of statutes of limitations, it does not rely on arguments about stale evidence and legal error as a basis for imposing a finite statute length.16 A key prediction of the model is that the optimal statute length appears to be longer under a negligence rule as compared to a strict liability rule. The reason is that, when the statute is lengthened, it increases incentives for care (deterrence), thereby making it harder for plaintiffs to prove negligence at trial. Thus, fewer cases are filed at any point in time, which lowers expected litigation costs. Since this benefit partially offsets the extra litigation costs incurred by lengthening the statute, the optimal statute is longer. The paper concluded by suggesting that this prediction is consistent with variations in actual statutes of limitations. We first argued that the enactment of statutes of repose in the 1970s, which effectively shortened the statute of limitations for products liability suits, was a response to the shift from negligence to strict products liability. We next argued that adoption of the rule of discovery effectively lengthened the statute of limitations for negligence suits by delaying the start of the statutory period until the plaintiff discovers (or should have discovered) her injuries, rather than when she actually sustains them. Finally, we argued that the statute of limitations is longer for nuisance as compared to trespass actions, reflecting the reliance on negligence principles under the former and strict liability under the latter.