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Negligently inflicted economic loss

Generally no duty of care is owed to avoid causing another to suffer a loss which is purely economic. Ie one where the financial loss is not related to a personal injury or damage to property. See:

Spartan Steel & Alloys Ltd v Martin [1972] 3 WLR 502

However, where the economic is caused by negligent mis-statement as oppose to a negligent act liability may be imposed as established by a House of Lords obiter in:  

Hedley Byrne & Co v Heller
[1963] 3 WLR 101

Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728  (case summary)

Murphy v Brentwood District Council [1991] 1 AC 398

Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman [1990] 2 AC 605  (case summary)

Gorham v British Telecommunications Plc [2000] EWCA Civ 234

Henderson v Merrett Syndicates [1995] 2 AC 145

Junior Books Ltd v Veitchi [1982] 3 WLR 477


A duty of care may exist even where the defendant would have a defence to an action in defamation:

Spring v Guardian Assurance [1994] 3 WLR 354

White v Jones [1995] 2 WLR 187

Williams v Natural Life Health Foods [1998] 2 All ER 577