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Tort Law

Tort Law (8th edn)

Kirsty Horsey and Erika Rackley
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date: 16 June 2024

p. 1947. Special duty problems: economic losslocked

p. 1947. Special duty problems: economic losslocked

  • Kirsty Horsey
  •  and Erika Rackley


This chapter explains when and how the courts have found that a duty of care should be owed by defendants for purely economic loss. This differs from ‘consequential’ economic loss, where financial loss is suffered as a secondary consequence of another harm, such as personal injury or property damage. The tort of negligence distinguishes between these, using duty of care as a device to control whether and when claimants will be able to recover their pure economic losses. The discussions cover the meaning of ‘pure’ economic loss; exceptions to the exclusionary rule; claims for pure economic loss in negligence before Murphy v Brentwood District Council [1990]; and extended applications of the principles established in Hedley Byrne v Heller [1963].

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