Confounded Expectations: The Law's Struggle with Personal Responsibility


George W. Jarecke and Nancy K. Plant present a selection of cases across a broad spectrum of American law to demonstrate that t our society relies inappropriately on the legal system to cure ill the system was not designed to address.

Jarecke an Plant note that while we in the United States worry considerably about the problem on individual assumption of responsibility -- whether for personal mistakes, financial setbacks, or pure bad luck -- we appear uneasy about he concept and unclear bout what it mens on a daily basis. Not only are we incapable of accepting personal responsibility; we barely know what it mens to do so.

Mistakenly, we turn to the legal system to solve this dilemma. Yet our laws as our legislators write them, and as juries apply them send mixed messages about whether and how we should exercise personal responsibility.

Each chapter of confounded Expectation features one main case ot explain one legal theory, with other cases noted as examples of facets of each theory. To demonstrate the law that requires merchants to guarantee the quality of their product, for example, Jarecke and Plant discuss the case of the band the whose fund-raising luncheon menu included turkey salad contaminated by samonella. Peripheral cases include a horse falsely sold as a gelding, a riding mower that tipped over when used as instructed, makeup that was gerodontia to be safe but caused a rash, and pigs sick with hog cholera.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 2000


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