Suppose that a railroad runs beside a field in which commercial crops are grown. The railroad is… 1 answer below »

Suppose that a railroad runs beside a field in which commercial crops are grown. The railroad is powered by a steam locomotive that spews hot cinders out of its smokestack. From time to time those cinders land on the crops nearest to the track and burn them to the ground. Assume that each year, the farmer whose crops are burned loses $3000 in profits, and that the annual cost to the railroad of installing and maintaining a spark-arrester that would prevent any damage to the crops is $1750. Does it matter to the efficient use of the farmer’s land or to the efficient operation of the railroad whether the law protects the farmer from invasion by sparks or allows the railroad to emit sparks without liability? Why or why not?

 

 

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