Legal Question in Construction Law in Nebraska

Construction Law/Professional Liability

Can a contractor or sub-contractor sue an architect/engineer in tort for purely economic loss? If so, is the theory distinguishable from tort claims by 3rd parties?

Asked on 4/11/07, 10:02 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Mark Voigtmann Baker & Daniels

Re: Construction Law/Professional Liability

This depends on the facts and the jurisdiction. If you would like to consult with me on this topic, I would be happy to assist, assuming that the economics of my doing so make sense from your perspective. I can be reached at [email protected]

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Answered on 4/11/07, 10:56 am
Duke Drouillard Drouillard Law, LLC

Re: Construction Law/Professional Liability

Purely economic loss is a measure of damages. Those damages must be proven to recover for them. Those damages could be the result of any number of torts or breach of contract actions. You don't specify what tort is being alleged. By tort actions from 3d parties, I presume you mean parties who do not have a contractual relationship? This area of the law is heavily fact dependent, which means it doesn't lend itself to a conclusive answer on a public forum like this. That is why there is so much litigation in this area, the outcome of a case may hinge on just one obscure fact. It sounds as though you should meet with an attorney now, if you are one of the parties involved, to get a clearer assessment of your position.

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Answered on 4/11/07, 11:09 am
J. Norman Stark J. Norman Stark , Attorney, Architect

Re: Construction Law/Professional Liability

Dear Inquirer: I'm not acquainted with or admitted to practice "NE Law" upon which your inquiry is based, but will answer your inquiry, based upon gweneral legal principles applicable in most jurisdictions of the U.S. legal system.

Anyone may sue anyone for anything at any time!!! Whether one may prevail, or overcome defense summary judgment is yet another matter.

To become serious, you must first consider whether the parties are in privity? That is, what agreement or contract or act or condition makes these parties to a cognizable action? Simply stated, what wrong has the architect or engineer (A/E) committed that has affected the GC? Then ,if there is privity, and a cause of action (basis or bases for suit) then what economic loss has the GC suffered? And if not economic loss, then what other kind of loss is claimed? Hedonic damages? And, on what basis in fact or law?

Good luck.

Sincerely, J. Norman Stark, Cleveland, OH.

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Answered on 4/11/07, 11:50 am

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