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Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

4. Duty of care III: property damage and purely financial loss  

This chapter is concerned with duties of care that arise when the claimant suffers either property damage or purely financial loss (that is, loss not attendant on physical damage or on any other primary interest recognised in negligence). Again, we find that duties of care are quite expansive with respect to property damage when the claimant owns or possesses the property in question. By contrast, duties of care are restricted with respect to purely financial losses. The most frequently upheld duties in the latter category cover negligent misstatements and the negligent provision of professional services, the scope of which is dictated by application of the Hedley Byrne v Heller framework or some variant of it.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

6. Special duty problems: economic loss  

This chapter deals with negligence that causes only economic loss. The basic rule is that a person may sue for economic loss which is consequent on physical loss which that person has suffered, but may not if they have only suffered economic loss by itself. There may be exceptions to this rule where there is sufficient proximity between the parties, and one element in this may be reliance by the one on the other. Though there is a general rule that no liability can arise in respect of ‘pure’ economic losses, there is also a broader exception that can arise when such loss happens as a result of a statement being made (rather than an act done), developed from the famous case of Hedley Byrne v Heller.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

4. Pure economic loss and negligent misstatement  

This chapter discusses the law on pure economic loss, which is loss that is not derived from physical injury, death, or property damage. It may be consequential, that is resulting from the acquisition of a defective product or property. More commonly, the issue arises due to a negligent misstatement, or provision of professional services. This is an area of commercial and professional importance where there has been a trend towards expansion in the area of negligent misstatement. The two key cases in this area are Murphy v Brentwood District Council and Hedley Byrne v Heller.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

7. Special duty problems: economic loss  

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].

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

5. Duty of Care: Applications  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter deals with particular applications of the duty of care concept that determine the boundaries of the tort. Various cases on duty of care are examined in terms of recognized categories relating to negligently inflicted psychiatric damage, ‘pure economic loss’, and negligence liability of public authorities. The chapter also considers the assumption of responsibility criterion developed from the case of Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964] AC 465, as well as applications of the ‘Caparo approach’ used in establishing whether a duty is owed. Finally, it looks at emerging organizing concepts which appear to span different categories of case law.