Earl v. NVR, Inc.

In Earl v. NVR, Inc., the Third Circuit reset its own precedent regarding the economic loss doctrine as a defense to claims under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL). The District Court granted a homebuilder’s motion to dismiss a homebuyer’s claim under the UTPCPL based on the Third Circuit’s interpretation of the economic loss doctrine. In Werwinski v. Ford Motor Co., 286 F.3d 661 (3d Cir. 2002), the Third Circuit held that Pennsylvania law regarding the doctrine prohibited “plaintiffs from recovering in tort economic losses to which their entitlement flows only from a contract” and “that no exception existed even with respect to tort claims based upon intentional fraud.” But subsequent decisions in Knight v. Springfield Hyundai, 81 A.3d 940 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2013) and Dixon v. Nw. Mut., 146 A.3d 780 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2016), cast doubt on that holding. The Third Circuit set aside its holding regarding the economic loss doctrine in Werwinski and held “that the economic loss doctrine no longer may serve as a bar to UTPCPL claims.”

NVR-Inc