Pennsylvania’s economic loss doctrine bars tort claims where there is no personal injury or property damage.
The plaintiffs sued on behalf of a class of former employees and customers of the defendants, medical and dental benefit providers. The defendants’ computer network was hacked by non-parties, and the class members’ personal identifying information was stolen and used to file fraudulent tax returns, causing them monetary harm. The plaintiffs sued in tort, asserting the defendants negligently failed to protect the class members’ information. The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal entered by the District Court on the basis that Pennsylvania’s economic loss doctrine bars a cause of action in tort absent personal injury or property damage. Bilt-Rite Contractors, Inc. v. Architectural Studio, 866 A.2d 270 (Pa. 2005), which allowed a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation against an architect, whose erroneous plans caused financial overruns to a builder, is only a limited exception to the economic loss doctrine.
Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2016. Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2016 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.