The Twilight of Tort? How the Economic Loss Doctrine Redirects Claimants to Commercial Remedies in Article 2 Transactions
Jennifer S. Martin
St. Thomas University - School of Law
March 2, 2012
Commercial Damages Reporter, Vol. 27, 2012
This Article observes that there is not a clear consensus among courts in how to address the scope and nature of the economic loss doctrine, when applied to sales of goods. The economic loss doctrine’s categorization of damages into three components: personal injury, injury to the product, and injury to other property, tends to redirect traffic from tort recovery to the classic contractual measurement of damages permissible under Article 2 of the U.C.C. While this has the potential of limiting the amount and extent of litigation in these matters, the differences in application of the economic loss doctrine have actually led to extensive litigation in some jurisdictions, as courts attempt to discern an acceptable approach. This lack of consensus in approaching the doctrine undermines uniformity, which ultimately underscores the policy of the Code and subjects sellers to unpredictable outcomes in nationwide sales. This Article argues that while the economic loss doctrine preserves the boundary between tort and contract, courts should not overextend the doctrine to eliminate tort claims where such claims might not naturally be considered to emanate from the bargain struck in the sales transaction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: economic, loss, doctrine, contract, UCC, commercial, remedy, damages, tort
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K12, K19, K20
Date posted: March 3, 2012
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