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The Damages Lottery

By: P.S. Atiyah
Media of The Damages Lottery
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Published: 01-05-1997
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 216
ISBN: 9781847314277
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £17.99
Online price : £9.89
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About The Damages Lottery

A man slips on a dance floor and breaks his leg. He recovers damages. A child has both legs amputated as a result of meningitis and is awarded nothing. The law's justification for awarding damages in the first case is that the man's injury was the fault of someone else, while in the second case damages are denied because nobody was at fault. In this searching critique of the present law and practice relating to damages, Professor Patrick Atiyah shows that this system is in fact a lottery. He contends that the public are paying far too much for an unfair and inefficient insurance system and that reform is long overdue. His conclusion is that actions for damages for injuries should be abolished and replaced with a new no-fault road accident scheme, and actions for other injuries should be dealt with by individual or group insurance policies.

Table Of Contents

1. Suing for Damages

2. How the Law has been Stretched

3. More Stretching of the Law

4. Who Receives Damages?

5. Who Pays?

6. An Unjust and Inefficient System

7. Does the System have Non-Compensatory Benefits?

8. What Can we do About It?


“The case against the law of tort is made with Atiyahs usual scintillating clarity and in an entertainingly vigorous no-holds-barred style. Anyone looking for something to recommend to young people who are wondering whether they would find law interesting should look no further.” –  John W. Davies, Tort Law Review

“This book is written in a style that means that no one need fear jargon or boredom. It is a short book and very cheap. I recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in its subject matter. One thing that the general reader may not know and the author cannot explain is his towering status. The fact that he has put his authority behind a radical reform of the systemought to encourage profound thought.” –  Andrew Edis QC, Times Higher Education Supplement

“Such readable and stimulating overviews of the social and intellectual effects of tort law are very welcome” –  Tony Weir, Cambridge Law Journal

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