Wednesday, January 15, 2014

economic loss doctrine doesn't appply to consumer protection claims

Hackel v. National Feeds, Inc., 2014 WL 108552, No. 12–cv–642 (W.D. Wis. Jan. 10, 2014)

Just a quick reminder: the economic loss doctrine is a limit on traditional common law torts, not on statutory consumer protection claims, much as defendants would like it to be otherwise.  Here, the district court reiterates a Wisconsin Supreme Court case explaining:

The legislature has plainly chosen in § 100.18 to provide protection and remedies for false advertising that do not exist at common law. The underpinnings of the economic loss doctrine—protecting parties’ freedom to allocate economic risk by contract, encouraging the purchaser to assume, allocate, or insure against that risk, and maintaining the fundamental distinction between tort and contract law are either irrelevant to, or inconsistent with, that legislative choice.

Kailin v. Armstrong, 2002 WI App 70, ¶¶ 42–43, 252 Wis.2d 676, 643 N .W.2d 132.

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