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ASFE Offers Free Recently Published Documents
February 7, 2011

ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association has just published new editions of its comprehensive Design Professional Limitation of Liability Case Index and Bibliography of Economic Loss Doctrine Cases available absolutely free to everyone. Prepared for ASFE’s Legal Affairs Committee by Terence J. “Terry” Scanlan, Esq. of Skellenger Bender, P.S., a Seattle (WA) law firm, both documents are now online at

ASFE introduced the limitation of liability concept to the design and environmental professions in 1970. Recorded use of the concept in commerce can be traced back as far as the early 1600s. Not all the cases listed in ASFE’s new Index relate to design and environmental professionals. They span the period 1956 to 2010. Each indexed listing identifies the case by name, citation, jurisdiction, and the points or holdings involved.

The economic loss doctrine (ELD) is an important protection for design professionals, who therefore need to know in which states it is and is not applied, and to what extent. The economic loss doctrine bars use of tort claims (e.g., professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims) to recover purely economic losses, such as those stemming from property damage or construction delays. In states that uphold the doctrine in full, purely economic damages may be recovered from design professionals only via breach of contract suits, limiting claimants to design professionals’ clients, as opposed to third parties. Bibliography of Economic Loss Doctrine Cases comprises a state-by-state status report on the economic loss doctrine, and includes case citations that can be used for research purposes.

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