Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Recovery of economic losses for negligent interference with contractual relations is almost uniformly denied in other jurisdictions. On the other hand, recovery for intentional interference with contractual relations has been permitted in every jurisdiction in this country except Louisiana.
Bean Dredging Company's dredging operations in the Calcasieu River caused damage to Texaco's natural gas pipeline. As a result, Texaco was unable to fulfill its contract to supply natural gas to PPG Industries for operation of its manufacturing plant, and PPG had to obtain fuel from another source at an increased cost. PPG filed this suit against Bean, seeking to recover the increased cost of obtaining natural gas. Bean filed an exception of no cause of action, contending that Louisiana has never recognized the right of recovery for negligent interference with contractual relations. The trial court sustained Bean's exception of no cause of action. The court of appeal affirmed, relying on Forcum-James Co. v. Duke Transportation Co., 231 La. 953, 93 So. 2d 228 (1957).
May a dredging contractor who negligently damaged a natural gas pipeline be held liable for the economic losses incurred by the pipeline owner's contract customer who was required to seek and obtain gas from another source during the period of repair?
The Court, affirming the lower courts' decision, concluded that the customer could not recover his indirect economic loss because the damages to the customer did not fall within the scope of the protection intended by the law's imposition of a duty on dredging contractors not to damage pipelines negligently and did not encompass the particular risk of injury sustained by the customer.