Project Reporter Ward Farnsworth discusses economic loss in the Economic Harm Torts video below.

One of the achievements in this project so far that I’m most pleased with is that I think it’s brought a lot of clarity to the so called economic loss rule or economic loss doctrine, which is an expression that a lot of courts have been using in a lot of different ways, and it famously causes headaches for lawyers.

Recovery and tort for economic loss has been a growth area in American law over the last few decades. There’s been a lot of judicial commentary and a lot of scholarly commentary on when it ought to be possible to recover in tort for a pure economic loss. Our goal in this restatement has been to capture the best insights of the commentary while staying true to where the case law has been going. The case law has been changing. The expression “Economic Loss Rule” wasn’t used very often in the 1970s. It’s been used many thousands of times since then, and so we’ve been trying to keep up with there the case law is, and also with where the best thinking is from scholars and judges.

              – Ward Farnsworth


Ward Farnsworth

Reporter, Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm

Ward Farnsworth is Dean and John Jeffers Research Chair of the University of Texas School of Law. He taught for fifteen years at Boston University School of Law, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dean Farnsworth is author of Restitution: Civil Liability for Unjust Enrichment, The Legal Analyst, and Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric. He served as a law clerk to Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to Richard A. Posner, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He has also served as Legal Adviser to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.


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