The law relating to liability for economic loss - how to approach the duty issue in a novel case

Vaggelas, Karen Margaret (1998). The law relating to liability for economic loss - how to approach the duty issue in a novel case PhD Thesis, School of Law, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Vaggelas, Karen Margaret
Thesis Title The law relating to liability for economic loss - how to approach the duty issue in a novel case
School, Centre or Institute School of Law
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 1998
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor not available
Subjects 390100 Law
Abstract/Summary The topic of this thesis relates to the negligent infliction of economic loss. In particular, it is concerned with the question of how the courts should approach the duty issue in a novel economic loss case. Initially, it was intended that the thesis involve a comparative analysis of the current approaches of the English, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian courts. The aim was to examine the Commonwealth courts1 treatment of economic loss with a view to identifying the most appropriate method of dealing with novel cases. It was, however, found that not one of the approaches presented by the appellate courts in these four jurisdictions could be described as the appropriate method for determining the duty question. The search for the model approach could not be confined to English, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian experiences. It was necessary to embark on a consideration of issues and concepts which were basic and fundamental to the common law. So what began as a comparative analysis also became a critical appraisal. In terms of structure, the thesis is divided into two parts. Part One presents the current approaches of the English, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian courts to determining the duty issue in a novel economic loss case. Using the analysis undertaken in the first part to set the context, the Part Two endeavours to present the appropriate approach. In the course of the analysis undertaken in Part One, it is seen that there are two principal areas of concern which must be addressed before a model approach can be presented. They can be summed up as follows: , (1)the question of what is the appropriate doctrinal basis for the imposition of liability for economic loss and the development of the law relating to economic loss; and (2)the question of what is the role and relevance of policy considerations in determining the duty issue in an economic loss case. The conclusion reached is that liability for the negligent inf lict ion of economic loss must be imposed in accordance with a moral standard which underlies all negligence cases and the law must develop in a manner which ensures a consistent and coherent application of this standard. Accordingly, in most cases, the bounds of liability will be determined by moral or ethical considerations. The relevance of non ethical or public policy considerations as a determinant of liability is not denied. However, the circumstances in which such considerations will operate to override a determination that the plaintiff has a moral right to recover for the economic loss suffered are limited.

 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:01:41 EST