Legal implications of circadian rhythm sleep disorders

CJ Lee, CB Jones, SMW Rajaratnam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents some of the principal ways that sleepiness (also “fatigue,” “drowsiness”) and impaired human performance occurring as a consequence of circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs) can interact with the law, including implications related to civil and criminal liability and legal structures governing the work place (e.g., government regulation of industry practices, workers’ compensation, and disability law). These issues are illustrated with examples and hypotheticals involving commercial road transport in several countries that have adopted the common law legal system. In many cases, awareness or knowledge of a CRSD diagnosis or treatment can affect the outcome of a legal matter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
PublisherElsevier - WB Saunders
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Civil and criminal liability
  • Common law
  • Disability law
  • Drowsy driving
  • Employer liability
  • Fatigue-related incidents
  • Government
  • Law and legislation
  • Negligence
  • Occupational and public health and safety
  • Regulation
  • Respondeat superior
  • Statute
  • Tort
  • Workers’ compensation

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