Vernon Valentine Palmer
The chapter aims to sketch some possible answers to the many questions raised by the issue of recoverability of pure economic loss, such as: to what extent should tort rules be compatible with the market orientation of the legal system? How far can tort liability expand without imposing excessive burdens upon individual activity? As a matter of policy should the recovery of pure economic loss be the domain principally of the law of contract? To this purpose, the chapter first outlines the notion of pure economic loss and the factual situations where this loss is likely to occur. It then reviews comparatively the broad spectrum of differing approaches to this kind of damage in Western tort law and the basic arguments for an exclusionary rule. Finally, the chapter tries to sketch conclusions about the past and future developments of doctrines and rules about pure economic loss.
Vernon Valentine Palmer, Kristoffer Svendsen and Peter Wetterstein
In this chapter we present a new understanding of the recoverability of pure economic loss under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Our ‘unified test of causation’ expands the recovery of pure economic loss beyond the limits of proximate cause analysis, while maintaining a cutoff point derived from the Act’s language and structure. The test combines the use of factual causation, with the ‘scope and purpose’ of the statute functioning as its limiting principle. The question in every case should be whether the discharged oil was a ‘but for’ reason for the plaintiff’s economic loss and whether compensation for that loss falls within the intended scope and purpose of the statute. This chapter deals with the issue of compensating damage to the environment. Its focus is on ‘pure environmental damage,’ that is, damage inflicted on the common goods of nature. Com_pensating pure environmental damage raises many issues, such as its conceptual distinction from the more ‘traditional’ types of compensable damage, namely personal injury, property damage and economic loss; the legal prerequisites of a right to claim compensation for pure environmental damage; the legal remedies available to the claimant(s) – whether a claim for restoration of the damaged environment or a claim for monetary compensation or a combination of both; and, finally, the assessement of damages for loss or destruction of natural resources. To answer these questions, the chapter looks at applicable international legislation (basi_cally conventions), EU law and some national rules and solutions. After clarifying the legal framework, the chapter offers an evaluation and discusses possible improvements to the status quo.