The Institutes

Loss of Use as Property Damage

 Friday, June 25, 2021


The John Hancock Tower, located in the Back Bay area of Boston, is the tallest building in New England. While under construction in the early 1970s, there were a few problems.

The windows, each weighing 500 pounds, began falling out of the 790-foot structure. Considering there were over 10,000 windows, this misadventure gave new life to the view that the sky is falling.

The result was that areas adjacent to the structure were cordoned off, prohibiting access by pedestrians.

A restaurant located in an adjacent building (but not located in the tower) sued the contractor and curtain wall subcontractor, alleging property damage in its complaint—the falling glass prevented the public from accessing the restaurant.

Even though the restaurant suffered no physical injury to its property, the restaurant alleged that its property was rendered useless and, thus, suffered loss of use of tangible property.

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