Recovery in Tort for Purely Economic Loss: Contract Law on the Retreat


  • Nicholas Rafferty


This paper focuses upon the influence traditionally exercised by contract law in precluding recovery in tort for purely economic loss and shows how this influence is now declining. It examines tortious liability for purely economic loss in two principle areas, liability for the negligent performance of a service voluntarily undertaken and liability for the negligent production of a defective chattel or building. In both areas there are increasing signs that tortious liability is being used both as an alternative to contractual liability in certain situations and as a means of expanding the recognized scope of contractual liability.