In Mech. Inc. v. Venture Elec. Contrs., Inc., No. 2018AP2380, 2020 Wisc. App. LEXIS 170, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District Two, considered whether a party may bring a negligence claim for purely economic damages. In upholding the lower court, the appellate court found that a party is barred by the Economic Loss Doctrine from bringing a negligence claim for purely economic damages.
Both parties involved in this action were subcontractors on a building project at the Great Lakes Research Facility for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As a result of Venture Electrical Contractors, Inc. (Venture) not paying for requested work, Mechanical, Inc. (Mechanical) sued Venture for $11,961.31. Venture, in turn, countersued in negligence for $1.1 million for costs incurred due to delays and untimely performance. Mechanical sought dismissal of the negligence claim based upon the Economic Loss Doctrine. Finding that the Economic Loss Doctrine applies to purely economic losses, the trial court dismissed Venture’s negligence claim. Venture appealed to the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin.