Economic Loss & Vicarious Liability in Tort Law

Dragon Boi is a start-up making an app that specialises in giving advice to users on purchasing NFTs, cryptocurrency and other forms of digital assets. One of its features is an animated emoji of its founder Luka – a world-renowned expert in digital assets and currency – engaging in a live chat with potential buyers. Sometimes Luca self-hosts live webchats; on other occasions it is a bot which gives pre-recorded advice on a particular digital commodity. It is not always clear to app users whether it is the bot or Luka talking as the animated emoji looks the same regardless, even though users often swear they are in a one-on-one conversation with Luka. It is a feature of Dragon Boi, who like to boast of their technological prowess, that it is possible to mistake an AI-generated response for the real thing.  Casemiro a user of the app follows advice he receives on the app about the resale value of a particular NFT and ends up losing money. In fact it is the bot talking rather than Luka himself. Karim has a chat with Luka directly who advises him that a new crypto currency called Kroos is taking off and advises him to buy it as a digital currency to trade with. Karim then has talks with Marcello Holdings about a proposal to invest in a digital mining operation for Kroos in Croatia, citing the high value on trading markets. Marcello Holdings are impressed and in doing their research get an independent firm of consultants to double-check with Eden an independent analyst who is under contract with Dragon Boi about the stability of Kroos. Eden goes much further than the initial advice offered by outlining the profitability of mining digital currencies using server farms in eastern Europe. Marcello Holdings invest in digital mining in Latvia, only to later have rising energy costs and the falling value of Kroos wipe out any return on the investment.

Celebrating having become the most downloaded digital investment app, Luka hosts a party for staff members and potential investors. At the party, Luka and the Director of Operations, Vinicius, fall out about the direction of the company, leading to an argument about an ex-girlfriend which causes Luka to challenge Vinicius to a fight. Meanwhile Caroline, an independent accountant on contract to Dragon Boi, is trying to flirt with Esther who represents a large investment bank interested in investing in Dragon Boi. After the party they go to a late- night bar, Caroline makes a sexual advance on Esther, but Esther is appalled. Both Esther and Vinicius bring claims against Dragon Boi as a corporate entity.

Advise Dragon Boi of any liability that they may have.


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