This course serves as both an introduction to European tort law and as a comparative inquiry into especially thorny areas of U.S. tort law. First, we will gain a basic understanding of the nature of the tort law systems in three European countries (France, Germany, and England), focusing especially on standards for intent, negligence, strict liability, and liability for defective products. Then, we will examine more deeply, and from a comparative perspective, how these three European legal systems have sought to resolve a number of specific issues that remain especially contentious in U.S. tort law. Examples of the types of specific questions covered in the course include: whether liability should attach for not providing assistance in emergency situations (the no duty to rescue rule); the extent of the privilege of self-defense (the no duty to retreat rule); liability for stand-alone emotional distress; liability for wrongful conception (birth); liability for children; and liability for the mentally incapacitated.
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