Economic Loss Doctrine

News & Analysis as of

Maryland Appellate Court Holds Economic Loss Doctrine Bars Contractor’s Tort Claims Against Government’s Design Professional on...

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. v. Rummel Klepper & Kahl, LLP, 226 Md. App. 420, 130 A.3d 1024, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 3 ( Md. Ct. Spec. App. Jan. 28, 2016) The City of Baltimore retained a design professional, Rummel...more

Trustwave Case Highlights Cyber-Risk to Professional Service Providers

In a case that we believe reflects a real future trend in the cyber-risk industry, Las Vegas casino operator Affinity Gaming (“Affinity”) is suing Chicago-based IT security firm Trustwave Holdings, Inc. (“Trustwave”) for...more

Design Errors Exception to the Economic Loss Doctrine

A recent Pennsylvania case, Gongloff Contracting, LLC v. L. Robert Kimball & Assocs., Architects and Engineers, Inc., sheds light on circumstances in which design errors can lead to damages in tort as courts recognize...more

Willfulness Claims Survive Motion To Dismiss

DNA Genotek Inc. v. Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, C.A. No. 15-355 - SLR, March 22, 2016 - Robinson, J. Defendant’s motion to dismiss willful infringement, conversion, trespass to chattel, and action to quiet title claims is...more

Petronius To Petrobras – Fifth Circuit Reaffirms Test For Ocsla Versus Maritime Tort Jurisdiction

In 2006, the Fifth Circuit issued a landmark controversial opinion in Texaco Exploration & Production, Inc. v. AmClyde Engineered Products Co., 448 F.3d 760, 770 (5th Cir.) amended on reh’g, 453 F.3d 652 (5th Cir. 2006). The...more

Can A Contractor Sue A Design Professional Without A Contract? Not In Maryland

In some states, courts allow contractors to sue design professionals for negligence even in the absence of a contract. In others, like Maryland, courts apply a rule known as the Economic Loss Rule (ELR) to bar such claims....more

We Don’t Feel Your Pain: Massachusetts Limits Recoveries By Workers Compensation Insurers

When an injured employee sues a third party for negligence, the law usually permits her employer’s workers compensation insurer to share in the recovery. Last month, in DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., Nos. SJC-11854 and...more

Consumer Fraud, Unfair Trade Practices, and Internet Purchases

If you buy a product through a website, and then the product doesn’t live up to its promises, can you sue the manufacturer for violating N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? A recent decision by the federal court in Boston...more

Claims Against RMBS Trustee U.S. Bank Partially Dismissed

On February 26, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied U.S. Bank N.A.’s (“U.S. Bank”) motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and violation of the Trust...more

Contractors Beware – Maryland’s Economic Loss Doctrine is Alive and Well

Maryland recently reaffirmed application of the “economic loss doctrine” to damages sought in construction disputes in Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. v. Rummel Klepper & Kahl, LLP, No. 496, Sept. Term 2014, 2016 WL...more

Federal Court in Indiana Permits City to Sue Design Subconsultant Despite Lack Of Privity

City of Whiting, Indiana v. Whitney, Bailey, Cox, & Magnani, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150229 (N.D. Ind. Nov. 5, 2015) - The City of Whiting, Indiana (the “City”) contracted with American Structurepoint, Inc....more

Texas Court of Appeals Holds Property Owner’s Negligence Claim Against Design Professional Barred by Economic Loss Rule

In A&H Properties Partnerships v. GPM Engineering [(2015) No. 03-13-00805-CV], the Texas Court of Appeals decided whether a property owner could maintain a direct action for negligence against a project designer hired by the...more

Fourth Circuit Holds Consequential Damages Exclusion Bars $19 Million Fire Loss Claim Case Background

Poyner Spruill represented the defendant pesticide applicator, Industrial Fumigant Company (IFC), in Severn Peanut Co., Inc. v. Industrial Fumigant Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS (4th Cir. Dec. 2, 2015). IFC was sued in the...more

Manufacturers and Suppliers Win Big in Pennsylvania Economic Loss Doctrine Argument

The economic loss doctrine (ELD) in Pennsylvania "precludes recovery for negligence 'if the plaintiff suffers a loss that is exclusively economic, unaccompanied by an injury to either property or person.'" Elliot-Lewis Corp...more

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Holds Design Professionals’ Negligence Claim Against Pump Supplier Barred By Economic Loss Rule

Elliot-Lewis Corp. v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98405 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 2015) - This dispute arises out of a major renovation and expansion of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (the...more

California Court Approves Retaliation Protection For Private Police Report

The California Court of Appeal held last week in Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. that retaliation claims under California Labor Code § 1102.5 need not be based on a report of employer wrongdoing or promote a fundamental...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Economic Loss is Not Needed To Recoup a Former Employee’s Salary for Breach of the Duty of...

On September 22, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously gave the green light to awards of the remedy of equitable disgorgement, even in the absence of economic loss, as a fair and practical response to an employee’s...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Insureds’ Negligence And Unfair Trade Practices Claims Against Adjusters Are Colorable Under...

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...more

Homebuilders Welcome Recent Court Decisions

Arizona homebuilders will welcome with open arms two recent legal rulings of substantial impact to their industry. In the first decision, on July 28, 2015, in Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corp., No. 1 CA-CV 14-0199, the Arizona...more

Homebuilders Do Not Owe a Duty of Care to Non-Original Homeowners

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals answered another lingering question of paramount importance to the construction industry – whether homebuilders and other construction industry professionals may be indefinitely subject...more

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Holds that Negligent Misrepresentation Exception to Economic Loss Doctrine Under Bilt-Rite May Be...

Gongloff Contracting, L.L.C. v. L. Robert Kimball & Assocs., Architects and Eng’rs, Inc., 2015 Pa. Super 149 (Pa. Super. Ct. July 8, 2015) - Pennsylvania law generally bars negligence claims when the injured party has...more

Ohio Court of Appeals Holds that Economic Loss Rule Bars Claim by Affiliates of Owner Against Subcontractor

Fed. Ins. Co. v. Fredericks, Inc., 2015-Ohio-694, 29 N.E.3d 313, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 684 (Ohio Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015) This case arises from a construction project in Vandalia, Ohio that was damaged during a windstorm...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

Pennsylvania Court Dismisses Data Breach Claims

In 2014, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s computer system was hacked, resulting in the disclosure of sensitive personal information of current and former employees, including names, addresses, birthdates, social...more

PA Judge Nixes Employees’ Negligence Claim for Data Security Breach

Red On May 28, 2015, in the first known ruling of its kind, a trial court in Allegheny County held that Pennsylvania law does not recognize a civil cause of action against companies for failing to secure its employees’...more

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