Colorado Court of Appeals Rules That Willful and Wanton Misconduct Claim Is Not Shielded from the Economic Loss Rule
By Paul V. Esposito
Reversing a jury verdict for an insurer in a restaurant fire-loss subrogation case, the Court of Appeals held that the economic loss rule bars a negligence claim based on willful and wanton misconduct. Mid-Century Ins. Co. v. HIVE Constr., Inc., 2023 Colo. App. LEXIS 351 (3/16/23). A contractor substituted combustible plywood for drywall in a kitchen cook-line wall, resulting in a fire. The contractor did not owe a tort duty independent of its contractual duty to perform in a workmanlike manner and according to specifications. Though grounded in willful and wanton misconduct, the claim against the contractor did not allege an intentional tort precluding the economic loss rule.