Claims Under The New Jersey Products Liability Act Not Permitted In Two Recent Appellate Division Cases Involving Purely Economic Losses In Connection With The Purchase Of Homes

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In two recent decisions, the New Jersey Appellate Division made clear that purchasers of homes from the original owners cannot sue the manufacturer of an exterior siding product for the home under the New Jersey Products Liability Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:58C-1 to -11 (“NJPLA”) if they suffer only economic losses. In addition, the purchasers also cannot assert a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -184 without some evidence of representations or concealments from the manufacturer made to them regarding the product. These two decisions should cause home buyers to be especially diligent when reviewing their home inspection reports, as they now may be precluded from asserting tort claims against the manufacturer of faulty or defective products or systems, and will have to rely primarily on contract claims against sellers for relief.

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