Chapter

Constructing Fault

in Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780226470405
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226470429 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226470429.003.0003
Constructing Fault

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This chapter proposes a constructive corporate liability doctrine. Constructive fault permits fact finders to move beyond the strictures of subjective evidence of culpability in order to find corporate states of mind that may be more reasonably deduced or inferred with or without the assistance of subjective evidence of the defendant. The search is for the best possible estimation of a corporate mental state through actual knowledge, as well as through reasonable inferences. Did the actions of the corporation, given the circumstances, objectively manifest intention or purpose, awareness or knowledge, indifference or recklessness? Did the corporation, given its size, structure, and complexity, know of the risks of injury? Notwithstanding any evidence of actual knowledge, these are the central questions of constructive fault.

Keywords: constructive fault; corporate liability; culpability; subjective evidence; corporate mental state; reasonable inferences

Chapter.  12446 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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