Commercial Painting Company, Inc. v. The Weitz Company, LLC, et al. (Dissent)

Case Number

economic-loss doctrine bars recovery in tort for purely economic losses in certain
situations. In this case, the Court is asked to apply that doctrine to bar tort claims brought
by a subcontractor against a general contractor, where the relationship between the
subcontractor and general contractor is governed by a contract. The majority opinion cabins
the economic-loss doctrine to products liability cases and refuses to extend it to contracts
for services for fear that doing so would require that we also create various exceptions. I
respectfully disagree with that holding. The core rationale underlying the economic-loss
doctrine—to create a boundary line between tort and contract law to ensure that parties can
allocate risks and responsibilities as they see fit—applies equally to cases involving
contracts for services. And to the extent that any exceptions to the rule would be needed,
their creation would not be nearly as difficult or messy as the majority predicts. I would
hold that the economic-loss doctrine applies here and precludes the subcontractor from
recovering punitive damages and pre-judgment interest.

Authoring Judge
Justice Sarah K. Campbell; Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins joins
Originating Judge
Judge JoeDae L. Jenkins
Date Filed
Dissent or Concur
This is a dissenting opinion