This is an extract of our Duty Pure Economic Loss By Negligent Acts document, which we sell as part of our Torts Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of New South Wales students.
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Class 5- Duty- Pure economic loss by negligent acts: Negligent acts or omissions:
* The courts are reluctant to allow a recovery for this because competition for profits is necessary and recovery for a loss in profits is therefore ridiculous.
* They put extra limiting factors on these cases.
* There is a duty in this case for pure economic loss but how far can this duty extend?
* According to Gibbs J, as a general rule damages are recoverable for economic loss which is not consequential upon injury to the plaintiff's person or property? False. They are not recoverable (no damages) except in exceptional cases.
* What does Gibbs J consider to determine if this is an exceptional case? They had knowledge that the AOR refinery led to Caltex's terminal. They knew property damage would cause loss to Caltex and they had charts showing the pipeline. The individual person was known and not an unascertainable class of peoples (it is more determinable). The dredge knew the physical means through which the harm would occur.
* Stephen J sees 'reasonable foresee-ability' as too general and that there is a need for some 'control mechanism'? True (you need both in torts). There should be a control mechanism based upon notions of proximity between the tortuous act and resultant detriment to take place of the exclusionary rule.
* What will no doubt be recognised as characteristic of one particular class of case among the generality of cases involving economic loss? Salient features: knowledge of the ascertained class and knowledge of what would occur if they did the act, that they already owed a duty of care to the owners of the pipeline, the nature of the detriment suffered and the claims made (they were known to the dredge). They are compensated not for loss of profit but for the money spent in finding other ways to transport the oil. Salient features: Knowledge, control, vulnerability, responsibility, proximity, policy (e.g. public interest). Or they are features to work out proximity.
* What features comprise whether there is proximity, according to Stephen J?
Actual or constructive knowledge (you knew at the time). This is the element of knowledge required. They had knowledge of the prospective use of the pipeline.
* Why does the presence of actual or constructive knowledge assume significance in this case? Because the dredge had to have knowledge of Caltex at the time and not after the event. Page 309 Caltex Oil v The Dredge "Willemstadt" (1976) - A case where a defendant can have a duty of care to not cause economic loss to a plaintiff that does not own the property but is directly affected by any carelessness that damages the property. Facts:
* The Dredge passed over a pipeline while dredging in Botany Bay.
* (A dredge is a device for scraping or sucking the seabed. A dredger is a ship or boat equipped with a dredge. The process of dredging creates excess material, which are conveyed to a different location. Dredging can produce materials for land reclamation or other purposes, usually construction-related)
* It meant to avoid the pipeline.
* The pipeline was damaged.
* AOR owned the pipeline. Caltex was using it to transfer oil. The damage caused Caltex expenses.
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