The topic of liability is vast; it includes damages to person, property, and reputation. The range of issues that arise in a given case include, at the least, the identification of some culpable conduct by the defendant, some causal connection between that conduct and the harm to the injured person, and some account of whether, and if so how, the injured party contributed to his own loss or assumed the risk of that injury.

Structuring a sound set of liability rules is of profound importance for anyone who believes in both the importance of individual liberty and the need to provide redress for, or a deterrence of, force and fraud practiced by other individuals. Several traditional distinctions, imperfectly realized at common law, are critical for the ...

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