This Article addresses how the Florida Supreme Court in Tiara Condominium Association v. Marsh & McLennan Cos. receded from its definition of “other property” in Casa Clara Condominium Association, Inc. v. Charley Toppino & Sons, Inc. In Casa Clara the Florida Supreme Court held that a building is to be treated as a “product” for purposes of applying the Economic Loss Rule’s bar to tort claims for defective building materials incorporated into the building. Although Casa Clara adopted the economic loss rule established by Seely v. White Motor Co. and East River Steamship Corp. v. Transamerica Delaval, Inc., it departed from those seminal cases by adopting the “object of the bargain” rationale and, in doing so, determining that real property is the “product itself.” In addition, Casa Clara departed from prior Florida precedent which held that real property is not a product in the context of products liability actions. Moreover, in Saratoga Fishing Co. v. J.M. Martinac & Co. the United States Supreme Court rejected the “object of the bargain” analysis that served as the sole basis for the Florida Supreme Court’s characterization of real property as the “the product itself.” The Saratoga Court recognized that the focus should be on the product that was “placed in the stream of commerce” instead. Thus, when the Florida Supreme Court returned the economic loss rule to its original interpretation under Seely and East River in Tiara, it receded from Casa Clara’s holding that a building must be treated as a “product” for the purposes of applying the economic loss rule.
Steve Siegfried, Erwin Gonzalez, H. Hugh (Terry) McConnell, Allen Bonner, and James Czodli,
The Economic Loss Rule: Is a Building a “Product?” — Another View,
71 U. Miami L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol71/iss4/7