Monsanto Lecture

The Economic-Loss Rule

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 | Wesemann Hall
4 – 5 p.m. — Public Lecture


The economic-loss rule is probably the most important new concept to appear in the common law of torts over the past forty years, and it is certainly the most confusing.  This lecture aims to give the rule a clear and useful meaning and to explain generally when plaintiffs can and cannot sue in tort to recover for monetary losses they suffer without personal injury or property damage. The lecture will explain the approach and rationale recently offered in the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third), Torts: Liability for Economic Harm, for which the author serves as Reporter.

FarnsworthAbout Ward Farnsworth
Before his appointment as Dean of The University of Texas School of Law, Ward Farnsworth taught for fifteen years at the Boston University Law School, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dean Farnsworth is Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third), Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. He is the author of Restitution: Civil Liability for Unjust Enrichment, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2014; The Legal Analyst, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007; and Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric, published by David R. Godine in 2010. He has published scholarly articles on a range of topics in the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and various other journals. He teaches courses on torts, contracts, civil procedure, admiralty, and rhetoric. Dean Farnsworth graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1994. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to Richard A. Posner, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He has also served as Legal Adviser to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in the Hague.

About the Monsanto Lecture Series
This annual series of lectures is endowed by a gift from the Monsanto Fund. The gift enables Valparaiso University Law School to invite distinguished scholars and professionals to critically reexamine the theory of tort law as it has evolved in this country. The lecture is a distillation of a manuscript, which is published each year as an article in the Valparaiso University Law Review.

The Valparaiso University Law School would like to thank Richard Duesenberg for his role in making the Monsanto Lectures possible. A 1953 graduate, Mr. Duesenberg was Monsanto’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary

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