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Corporate Bodies and Guilty MindsThe Failure of Corporate Criminal Liability$
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William S. Laufer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226470405

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470429.001.0001

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Constructing Fault

Constructing Fault

(p.68) Chapter Three Constructing Fault
Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds
University of Chicago Press

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

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