ECONOMIC LOSSES AND NEGLIGENCE THE SEARCH FOR A JUST SOLUTION

Authors

  • CHRISTOPHER HARVEY

Keywords:

Damages, Negligence, Torts

Abstract

This article canvasses the development of the rule denying recovery in negligence where the foreseeable harm is economic and the relationship between the parties is wider than that of contract or trust. It surveys the generalization of liability that subsequently occurred, arguing it is illogical, capricious and supportable only by reference to historical development which is itself suspect. It reviews modern developments that mitigate the rule’s effects and, the author believes, invalidate its dogmatic use. Decisions made subsequent to the modern developments are divided into two groups: those where no attempt was made to apply the new rules, and those where at least some attempt was made. Using the second group of cases for guidance, he proposes a new principle of liability based in an objective formulation of responsibility suited to economic loss cases and suggests factors that should be considered in application.

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Published

1972-12-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary