15 September 2009

Economic loss v. Injury

For well over a century, it has been a settled feature of American and English tort law that in a variety of situations there is no recovery in negligence for pure economic loss, that is, for economic loss unrelated to injury to the person or the property of the plaintiff. This is true even if the loss is reasonably avoidable and perfectly foreseeable according to ordinary tort standards. I want to investigate whether this legal position is sound and how it might be accounted for.

From a recent law review article abstract.

Why care?

I care mostly because this has great relevance to both zoning law theory and business torts.

I've also done quite a bit of legal work in my practice, relating to the "economic loss rule," which basically says that there is no recovery in tort for a purely economic loss when there is an alternative claim for breach of contract. In this context, the doctrine discourages asserting multiple legal theories arising from the same circumstances.

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