The 2014 High Court of Australia case Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corporation Strata Plan No 61288 gave insights into the narrowed field within which a duty of care in negligence to prevent pure economic loss will be found. As recent cases and commentary have recognised, however, the Court’s approach is by no means unproblematic in its underlying assumptions and application. We argue, in particular, that the legislative scheme in existence across Australia is at present more a ‘patchwork quilt’ than ‘security blanket’ for vulnerable owners of residential properties. Thus, the common law’s retreat from the field of liability is, we argue, premature.
Bell, Matthew and Jocic, Wayne, Negligence Claims by Subsequent Building Owners: Did the Life of Bryan End Too Soon? (March 27, 2017). Melbourne University Law Review, forthcoming.