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Reconceiving Proximity in the Duty to Avoid Causing Pure Economic Loss: Should the Plaintiff have Protected Himself Through Contract?

Justin Tan

(2021) 33 SAcLJ 1083

Proximity defined as “closeness/directness in the plaintiff-defendant relationship” is unhelpful in pure economic loss cases. This article argues for reconceiving proximity in pure economic loss cases in the form of the question: “should the plaintiff have protected himself through contract?” If the answer is yes, proximity is absent and no duty arises. If the answer is no, proximity is present, and a duty arises unless policy negatives it.