Example: A is a professional carrier of industrial chemicals. A drives a truck to B's factory to deliver a consignment of liquid chlorine. A reverses the truck without checking the available room on the offside of his vehicle and collides with the factory's cooling pipes. B's factory has to close for a week for repairs costing $5,000. C's business, which depends on a daily supply of products from B's factory, is also forced to close for a week, thereby losing profits of $30,000.
Comment: A's act of reversing without looking has caused harm to C which is purely economic (or financial). Australian law recognises that a defendant can be liable in Negligence for positive acts causing purely economic harm. Because the potential for economic harm is very great, this opens the door to many potential claims. While this is desirable from the plaintiff's point of view, it would impose unwelcome costs on the community and the courts. Special rules are therefore applied in such cases to limit the scope of the duty of care.