The Frontier between Contractual and Tortious Liability in Europe: Insights from the Case of Compensation for Pure Economic Loss

17 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010 Last revised: 11 Jan 2013

See all articles by Mauro Bussani

Mauro Bussani

University of Trieste School of Law

Vernon V. Palmer

Tulane Law School

Date Written: January 15, 2010

Abstract

Recoverability of pure economic losses stands at the cutting edge of many crucial questions, such as: To what extent should tort rules be compatible with the market orientation of the legal system? How far can tort liability expand without imposing excessive burdens upon individual activity? As a matter of policy should the recovery of pure economic loss be the domain principally of the law of contract?

The paper pursues the goal of sketching possible answers to these questions as far as European jurisdictions are concerned. Thus, it first outlines the factual situations where a pure economic loss is likely to occur. The paper then discusses the broad spectrum of differing approaches to this kind of damage in Europe, as well as the basic arguments that favor an exclusionary rule. The survey makes it possible to understand what is common and what is different across European countries on this issue, as well as to evaluate whether, and how legal rules about pure economic loss might be harmonized throughout Europe.

Keywords: Contract Law, economic loss, European civil code

Suggested Citation

Bussani, Mauro and Palmer, Vernon Valentine, The Frontier between Contractual and Tortious Liability in Europe: Insights from the Case of Compensation for Pure Economic Loss (January 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1537031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1537031

Mauro Bussani (Contact Author)

University of Trieste School of Law ( email )

Piazzale Europa 1
Trieste, Trieste 34100
Italy

Vernon Valentine Palmer

Tulane Law School ( email )

6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
504-865-5978 (Phone)

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