Torts and Contracts
The recent article, “Tort and Contract Actions: Strange Bedfellows No More in the Wake of Tiara Condominium,” (December 2013) points out the inefficiencies that might follow from Tiara Condominium, but makes no real case to outweigh them (if indeed they come to pass). The article bemoans the prospect of tort causes of action now being pled in conjunction with contract claims, and it predicts “the general public and Florida businesses will struggle to determine if they can continue to allocate the risks and rewards of a transaction by contract.” Perhaps another and better way to view the issue is to ask whether a contract should serve as a license to commit tortious acts. As Tiara Condominium and the article point out, a plaintiff still must demonstrate a tort independent of the breach of contract. When such torts are committed, there should indeed be an additional tort remedy that addresses the extra-contractual damages. This is neither new nor novel. And perhaps it is a good thing that the general public and Florida businesses will struggle to “allocate the risks and rewards” of committing tortious acts. That could rightly be called deterrence.
Matt Schultz, Pensacola