3: The Politics of Pure Economic Loss

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This chapter analyses the politics of the recovery of pure economic loss in negligence. Recent critiques of the law have recognised that it sometimes comes to the aid of rich investors who have made bad business decisions. By way of contrast, the decisions of Smith v Bush and White v Jones are often portrayed as cases where the law has come to the aid of sympathetic ‘vulnerable’ claimants. Challenging this idea, this chapter assesses whether these decisions are in fact consistent with the neoliberal political ideology that was at its height in the 1980s and 1990s.

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