Professional Negligence Claims Against Accountants, Engineers, Surveyors, Architects and Others – Florida State and Federal Litigation and AAA Arbitration Attorney:

In Florida, professional negligence claims require four elements: (1) existence of a legal duty, (2) breach of the duty, (3) proximate causation, and (4) actual loss. Generally, this duty of care only exists between parties who are in privity of contract with one another. The contractual relationship of the accountant, engineers and others and their clients gives rise to tort liability for professional negligence.

In limited circumstances, however, a professional can be liable to non-contractual third parties for economic damages arising from professional negligence. The Florida Supreme Court adopted Restatement (Second) of Torts § 552 to determine an accountant’s liability for negligent misrepresentation.  It provides in pertinent part:

§ 552. Information Negligently Supplied for the Guidance of Others
(1) One who, in the course of his business, profession or employment, or in any other transaction in which he has a pecuniary interest, supplies false information for the guidance of others in their business transactions, is subject to liability for pecuniary loss caused to them by their justifiable reliance on the information, if he fails to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information.

(2) Except as stated in Subsection (3), the liability stated in Subsection (1) is limited to loss suffered (a) by the person or one of a limited group of persons for whose benefit and guidance he intends to supply the information or knows that the recipient intends to supply it; and

(b) through reliance upon it in a transaction that he intends the information to influence or knows that the recipient so intends or in a substantially similar transaction.

Please keep in mind that the information provided in this post is for educational purposes only.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus it should not be relied upon as legal advice.  If you have any questions relative to the information provided herein, you should contact a qualified professional.

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At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida.