Compensation of (mass) harm
On a regular basis, society is confronted with harmful acts causing widespread or collective harm. Think of occupational diseases affecting large groups of workers, such as asbestosis or silicosis, damage resulting from mining and gas drilling activities, for instance in Groningen, climate change damages, damages associated with the Dutch childcare allowance scandal, the still uncertain consequences of long COVID, and personal injuries in general. How can (liability for) such harms be allocated in a just and manageable way, and how can victims get satisfactory compensation? What role does (civil) liability law play in this respect? Does it offer appropriate avenues for dealing with collective damages? And does it take proper account of the victims’ needs for recognition and recovery?