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Torts and Rights$
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Robert Stevens

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211609.001.0001

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(p.20) 3 Loss
Torts and Rights

Robert Stevens

Oxford University Press

Loss which is consequential upon the infringement of a right is recoverable, loss which is not so consequent is irrecoverable. If you experience economic loss as a result of intentional or negligent actions, the economic loss consequential upon the right violated are prima facie recoverable. Within the law of negligence there is no ‘exclusionary rule’ barring the recovery of ‘pure economic loss’. Precisely the same pattern is found where the loss takes other forms. So, lost chances, emotional distress, and physical discomfort are recoverable where suffered as a result of the infringement of a right unless too remote. Psychiatric illness, commonly if misleadingly considered under the label nervous shock, is quite different as it has long been established that there is a free-standing right not to be so injured.

Keywords:   pure economic loss, loss of a chance, increased risk, emotional distress, nervous shock, psychiatric injury

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