The Economic Loss Rule v. Independent Duty Doctrine

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Contact

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

The economic loss rule prohibits recovery for economic loss in tort and provides that such claims are governed by contract law. The State of Washington's Supreme Court adopted the Economic Loss Rule in 1987 in Stuart v. Coldwell Banker Com. Grp., Inc., 109 Wash. 2d 406, 419, 745 P.2d 1284, 1291 (1987), but solidified in Alejandre v. Bull, 159 Wash. 2d 674, 153 P.3d 864 (2007).

In that case, the Washington Supreme Court not only barred tort claims where the risk of loss had been explicitly allocated by the contract, but it also barred claims where there was an opportunity to allocate the risk of loss and the losses were purely economic.

Upon further consideration, the Court in 2010, believing that the term "economic loss rule" was confusing, instead applied the independent duty doctrine. The doctrine permits recovery in tort if "[an] injury is traceable also to a breach of a tort law duty of care arising independently of the contract."

Fraud, however, was specifically exempted from the independent duty doctrine.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Davis Wright Tremaine LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Contact
more
less

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.