Construction Design Professionals and the Economic Loss Doctrine in New York and California


With so many extracontractual parties often involved in work that necessarily implicates others in construction, the economic loss doctrine can present serious hurdles to a harmed party’s recovery of damages actually incurred. The doctrine, which has long stood for the proposition that one cannot recover purely economic damages in tort, can often come into play with design professionals, who commonly contract directly with only the owner of a project, but issue reports, plans and specifications that are for the purpose of, and must be relied upon by, other parties for the performance of their work on the project.

In a recent article in Under Construction, the ABA Forum’s newsletter on construction law, colleagues Clark Thiel, Matthew Stockwell, and Jessica Bogo explore the different approaches taken by New York and California in applying the economic loss doctrine with regard to damages resulting from services provided by design professionals on a construction project.