McAlpine PC Wins Landmark Case on the Economic Loss Doctrine in Florida Supreme Court

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The groundbreaking ruling holds that the economic rule is limited to product liability cases

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Mark L. McAlpine

The ruling is important for consumers and the construction industry which rely on the advice of insurance brokers in making individual and business decisions.

McAlpine PC won a landmark victory before the Florida Supreme Court on March 7, 2013, in what may prove to be the most important decision on the economic loss doctrine in decades.

In case No. SC10-1022, Tiara Condominium Association vs. Marsh & McLennan, the Court ruled 5 - 2 that the economic loss rule is once and for all limited to products liability cases.

Writing for the majority, Justice Labarga opined with sweeping language that “we return the economic loss rule to its origin in product liability.”

He reasoned that Florida’s “experience with the economic loss rule” has “led to the creation of the exceptions to the rule,” which demonstrate that “expansion of the rule beyond its origins was unwise and unworkable in practice.”

Justice Labarga was joined by Justices Pariente, Lewis, Quince, and Perry.

McAlpine PC represents the Tiara Condominium, a 42-story oceanfront high-rise on Singer Island, which suffered well over $100 million in property damage after back-to-back hurricanes in 2004.

After finding that it was grossly uninsured, McAlpine PC brought a lawsuit on Tiara’s behalf against Tiara’s broker, Marsh & McLenann, alleging that Marsh gave faulty insurance advice.

Marsh defended the lawsuit by invoking the “economic loss rule.” The economic loss rule is a legal principle—originating in products liability cases—that has been applied by the courts in recent years outside of the products liability context to limit plaintiffs to contract remedies while preventing tort claims from going forward. McAlpine PC advocated that the economic loss rule should, however, be limited to products liability cases.

The Supreme Court's ruling clears the way for Tiara's jury trial against Marsh in which it will seek damages in excess of $30,000,000.

About McAlpine
McAlpine PC, a national law firm headquartered in Michigan, has long been acknowledged as one of the country’s best law firms by U.S. News & World Report and as a Preeminent Law Firm by Martindale Hubbell. The firm has also been listed as a Go-To Law Firms© For The Top Fortune 500 Companies. Its founding partner, Mark McAlpine, has for many years been considered one of the best construction lawyers in the nation by the publication The Best Lawyers in America, as one of the top lawyers in Michigan by the publication Michigan Super Lawyers, as one of the best lawyers in Detroit by the publication D Business, and has held the prestigious “AV” rating reserved for preeminent lawyers by Martindale Hubbell for over 20 years.

Mr. McAlpine and the partners of McAlpine PC have extensive experience in disaster recovery, construction law and litigation, insurance coverage disputes and complex commercial litigation and appellate practice. McAlpine PC has litigated cases throughout the US, having won some of the largest jury verdicts and arbitration awards in the country while its clients continue to benefit from lower Midwest legal fees or contingent fees arrangements.

Results of any case or representation depend upon a variety of factors. A lawyer's success in any specific case or group of cases does not guarantee or predict a likelihood of success in any future case. McAlpine PC routinely helps its clients assess their likelihood of success in litigation, and it applies an outcome-oriented, total cost approach to help them maximize their likelihood of a favorable outcome.

About Capital Letters
Capital Letters ( is a business-to-business marketing company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. President Chris Hippler leads a team that focuses on getting results for clients through online and print communications. 734-353-9918 (

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