News & Noteworthy

Authored - NJ Contract Law Update - Contract-Substitute Claims Forbidden Where Contract Clearly Pleaded
SEPTEMBER 05, 2012 | Windels Marx - Commercial Litigation

In SDC Information Services, Inc., v. Intelligroup, Inc., 2012 WL 2119156 (D.N.J. June 11, 2012), the Court precluded contract-substitute claims1 where "the entire Complaint rests upon the existence of express contractual duties." First, the Court dismissed the claim for unjust enrichment, because "the facts supporting the Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim are the same facts supporting the breach of contract claims"; and there was no allegation "that a separate implied contract exists or that the Defendant was enriched beyond its contractual rights." Second, as to the further Count for negligence ostensibly arising out of the contract, the Court--implicitly invoking the economic loss doctrine--held that a "tort remedy does not arise from a contractual relationship unless the breaching party owes an independent duty imposed by law". This highly complex issue (tort arising in an economic loss doctrine context2) will be the subject of a separate article.

Contact & Legal Disclaimer

Clark Alpert is the author of Guide to New Jersey Contract Law, published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, originally published in 2007 and updated in November 2011. His updates on New Jersey contract law are based in recent issues and practical methods for addressing similar situations in your practice or business. They are not intended to serve as legal advice. Clark welcomes your questions and comments.

1 See my prior Article dated June 27, 2012, "Quasi-Contract Claims".

2 See Alpert, Guide to New Jersey Contract Law 304-321 (NJICLE 2d Ed. 2011).

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