David v. HettAnnotate this Case
Homeowners sued Contractor for, inter alia, breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and fraudulent concealment, claiming that Contractor negligently failed to perform contractually required work. The district court granted summary judgment in Contractor's favor on all claims. As to the negligence allegations of interest in this appeal, the district court held (1) the economic loss doctrine prevented Homeowners from bringing a tort action under circumstances governed by contract, and (2) the economic loss doctrine supplied an additional bar to Homeonwers' fraud claims. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court accepted the appeal to decide whether the economic loss doctrine barred any negligence claims. The Court reversed, holding that the doctrine should not apply in this case where (1) existing caselaw establishes that homeowners' claims against residential contractors may be asserted in tort, contract, or both, depending on the nature of the duty giving rise to each claim; and (2) rationales upholding the economic loss doctrine do not support its adoption for disputes between homeowners and their contractors. Remanded.