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Survey Article


These were purportedly among the last words of the tycoon John Jacob Astor as, clad in formal evening attire, he tenderly placed his wife into a lifeboat and, a gentleman to the last, prepared to meet his watery grave aboard the Titanic after it struck an iceberg in the frosty North Atlantic ocean on April 15, 1912. For the writers of this survey, faced with navigating through a record number of torts cases, this scene is rife with analogies. Obviously, asking for a little and getting a lot is appropriate. As usual, space requirements have forced us to make a rigid triage of which cases shall survive to be surveyed and which shall go down with the ship, so to speak. Guided by no such noble sentiments as "women and children first," it was our mercenary intention to rescue only the first-class passengers. Consequently, we present the surviving cases as the "Astors" of the survey period-and hope we have not left our readers at sea.

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