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Limited Remedy

15 January, 2016 - 09:34

The Restatement says recovery under strict liability is limited to “physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property,” but not other losses and not economic losses. In Atlas Air v. General Electric, a New York court held that the “economic loss rule” (no recovery for economic losses) barred strict products-liability and negligence claims by the purchaser of a used airplane against the airplane engine manufacturer for damage to the plane caused by an emergency landing necessitated by engine failure, where the purchaser merely alleged economic losses with respect to the plane itself, and not damages for personal injury (recovery for damage to the engine was allowed). 1

But there are exceptions. In Duffin v. Idaho Crop Imp.Ass’n, the court recognized that a party generally owes no duty to exercise due care to avoid purely economic loss, but if there is a “special relationship” between the parties such that it would be equitable to impose such a duty, the duty will be imposed. 2 “In other words, there is an extremely limited group of cases where the law of negligence extends its protections to a party’s economic interest.”