Adams v. Buffalo Forge Co – Case Brief Summary (Maine)

In Adams v. Buffalo Forge Co., 443 A.2d 932 (Me. 1982), the Law Court said that a clear distinction must be drawn between actions which sound in contract and those which sound in tort. Specifically, contractual recovery is predicated in the first instance upon a consensual obligation between two or more parties. Tort recovery, on the other hand, relies upon a relationship status.

"The status relationship which constitutes the predicate for tort recovery is entirely independent from and, indeed, foreign to any notions of the consensual features which form the basis of contractual liability." Adams, 443 A.2d at 938.

Actions in negligence are based upon the elements that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant breached the duty owing to the plaintiff and the defendant's breach of the duty was the actual and legal cause of the injury suffered by the plaintiff. See id.