Why the Law of Damages Is More Favorable to Commercial Interests than Personal Interests?
On August 7th 1994, 11 miners were killed when an explosion ripped through the BHP-owned Number 2 Mine in Moura, Central Queensland . In a bitter attack the Workers News declared that 'these deaths were not an unexpected accident, but a direct result of BHP's drive to boost productivity and cut costs. They form part of the disastrous death toll now escalating through industry' .
This paper seeks to determine what role the law relating to damages for personal injury and death plays in allowing commercial interests to consider life and health as an exploitable resource in the pursuit of profits. The argument will be presented that the law is not neutral between commercial and personal interests, but is in fact indefensibly favourable to the commercial interests of profit, over the personal interests of life, health and happiness.
Regrettably, it is often the case that arguments such as the one presented in this paper usually break down into two isolated schools of thought, economics and sociology, with each discipline ignoring the insights of the other. Economists, although bitterly divided, share at least some paradigmatic assumptions with other economists, and the same is true of sociologists. …
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