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72 Or. L. Rev. 753 (1993)
Onita Pacific Corp. v. Trustees of Bronson: The Oregon Supreme Court Recognizes the Negligent Misrepresentation Tort

handle is hein.journals/orglr72 and id is 767 raw text is: Onita Pacific Corp. v. Trustees of

Bronson: The Oregon Supreme
Court Recognizes the Negligent
Misrepresentation Tort
Since the late nineteenth century, state courts have held informa-
tion providers liable in tort for misstatements which cause parties
who rely on the information to suffer pecuniary loss. ' Such liability
is well established in cases where the loss accompanies physical
damage to the property2 or person3 of the plaintiff or where the
information provider acts with intent to deceive the plaintiff.4
However, where there is not accompanying physical damage and
where the information provider's culpability is mere negligence,
courts have been more reluctant to allow recovery. Only within the
last sixty years has American tort law begun to recognize such
negligent misrepresentations.' To date, the tort is recognized in
at least thirty jurisdictions.6
In December 1992 the Oregon Supreme Court, in Onita Pacific
Corp. v. Trustees of Bronson,' recognized the negligent misrepresen-
tation tort.8 Unfortunately, in so doing, the court adopted a scope
I See William L. Prosser, Misrepresentation and Third Persons, 19 VAND. L. REV.
231, 233 (1966).
21d. at 232; see, e.g., Banker's Trust Co. v. Steenburn, 409 N.Y.S.2d 51 (Sup. Ct.
1978), aff'd, 418 N.Y.S.2d 723 (App. Div. 1979).
3 See, e.g., RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS § 311 (1965); Seagraves v. ABCO
Mfg. Co., 164 S.E.2d 242 (Ga. Ct. App. 1968); Ligon Specialized Hauler, Inc. v. Inland
Container Corp., 581 S.W.2d 906 (Mo. Ct. App. 1979).
4 Prosser, supra note 1, at 233-34; see, e.g., RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS
§ 525 (1977); Candelora v. Clouser, 621 F. Supp. 335 (D. Del. 1985), aff'd sub nom.
Candelora v. Ryan, 802 F.2d 446 (3d Cir. 1986); Ollerman v. O'Rourke Co., 288
N.W.2d 95 (Wis. 1980).
5 See Michael D. Lieder, Constructing a New Action for Negligent Infliction of Eco-
nomic Loss: Building on Cardozo and Coase, 66 WASH. L. REV. 937, 948 (1991).
6See infra notes 37, 39, 41.
7 315 Or. 149, 843 P.2d 890 (1992).
8 Id. at 152, 843 P.2d at 892. In 1987, the Oregon Supreme Court considered recog-
nizing the tort of negligent misrepresentation. Duyck v. Tualatin Valley Irrigation
Dist., 304 Or. 151, 742 P.2d 1176 (1987). However, the court was spared the necessity
because a statute of limitations defense rendered the negligent misrepresentation issue
moot. Id. at 156, 742 P.2d at 1178. Justice Peterson, writing for the majority, indicated


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