Northwestern University Law Review
That all is not well with tort law cannot seriously be doubted. In Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences, Peter Huber attempts to chronicle the changes in tort doctrine over the past thirty or so years that have brought tort law to its present crisis, and to prescribe sweeping remedial actions capable of defining a more intelligent course of accident compensation. Drastic measures are necessary, Huber argues, because of the magnitude of the emergency.
Huber’s critique of modern tort law is always provocative and often perceptive and enlightening. The book identifies many jurisprudential trouble-spots which cry out for reform, and the examination raises many important questions about the current state of tort law. Unfortunately, Huber forfeits many opportunities to persuade or enlighten by engaging in unwarranted exaggeration and indulging in unsubstantiated and inaccurate assertions. His efforts to write in a vivid, colorful style frequently degenerate into unfair caricature, heavy sarcasm, and one-sided argumentation.
Huber’s book should be read, but not because it is an even-handed, accurate portrayal of modern tort law, nor because its proffered remedies are an adequate solution to current problems. Rather, it should be read because it forces one to think deeply about liability issues, and that, of course, is an essential step in curing all that is not well with tort law.
Vincent R. Johnson, Liberating Progress and the Free Market from the Specter of Tort Liability (book review), 83 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1026 (1989).