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Should the United Nations Be Liable for the Haiti Cholera Epidemic? | David S. Kemp | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia


Perhaps the most fundamental tenet of injury law is that when one party causes injury to another party, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. Different jurisdictions recognize assorted exceptions to this general rule, but the principle holds true in the case of the cholera epidemic.

The U.N.’s strongest argument against liability was that of causation; at first, it was not completely clear whether the U.N. peacekeepers had actually caused the epidemic. However, once the U.N.’s own independent investigators, as well as those from other disinterested organizations, established causation with near certainty, that argument could no longer stand.

No one disputes that the people in Haiti are suffering greatly from a cholera epidemic. Often, natural disasters such as weather and illness cannot be attributed to a person or entity for the purpose of remuneration. But in this case, with causation all but proven, both morality and law would seem to require that the responsible party compensate the victims for their losses. via | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

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