Economic Loss Doctrine may not Preclude Claims Against Building Contractors for Negligent Construction that Results in Foreseeable Damage to Property
Harris v. Suniga, 344 Or. 301, 180 P.3d 12 (Or. 2008)
In this case, the defendant general contractors constructed an apartment building for a California investment company. The California investment company sold the completed apartment building to the plaintiffs, trustees for the Harris Family Trust. Following the sale, plaintiffs found the apartment building had problems with leaking water and dry rot and filed a claim for negligent construction against the defendant contractors. Prior to suit, the plaintiff and defendants were “strangers.” The plaintiffs did not purchase the apartment building from the defendants, did not contract with the defendants, and did not have any previous contact with the defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants’ failure to install required flashings in the building caused the dry rot damage, and that the failure constituted negligence.