Colorado Supreme Court Holds Economic Loss Rule Does Not Bar Civil Theft

DENVER, CO. – May 7, 2019 – Colorado Supreme Court Holds Economic Loss Rule Does Not Bar Civil Theft

In a much-anticipated ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court yesterday settled a split among divisions of the Colorado Court of Appeals over whether the economic loss rule bars a claim for civil theft where taking the property was also a breach of contract. In a 4-2 decision, the Supreme Court held that the judge-made economic loss rule cannot bar statutory claims enacted by Colorado’s General Assembly, such as a claim for civil theft. The Court decided that to hold otherwise would improperly interfere with the General Assembly’s powers under the state’s constitution.

“The decision will have lasting consequences,” said Chipman Glasser attorney John Bowlin, who follows state appellate court decisions. “A claim for civil theft allows the claimant to recover triple his or her damages as well as attorney fees, remedies that are usually not available in an ordinary breach-of-contract case.”

The Court’s opinion can be found at the following link: https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2017/17SC246.pdf

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