Plaintiffs rarely seek symbolic damages. However, they can, although this rarely happens in cases related to violations. Sometimes the plaintiff simply wants the defendant to admit wrongdoing. This is achieved by tracking nominal damage. In other scenarios, the plaintiff may feel that his case does not merit damages beyond the nominal level, so he may claim symbolic damages to reinforce the judge`s perception of his morality. In some States, courts may include the cost of the action in awarding symbolic damages. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in a 1992 case that the inclusion of attorneys` fees may be unconstitutional because of the large difference in cost between attorneys` fees and the $1 token normally awarded to the plaintiff. Some States use this decision to avoid including court costs in the award of symbolic damages. Symbolic damages are rare in contractual cases, as the majority of infringement actions usually result in economic financial loss to the plaintiff. In any event, the plaintiff still has to prove all the essential elements of a breach claim in order to obtain symbolic damages. This case is a useful reminder to employers suing former employees who have breached their contractual obligations. Even if the misconduct of former employees is blatant and they have looted confidential information, it is important to focus on the use that could have been made of it and the gains or losses made before embarking on a costly and lengthy legal battle.
Importantly, this case still leaves open the argument that an injured employer can seek redress for the actual use of the deleted information. However, this closes the door to an open-ended checkbook-type claim for damages to cover any use that may have been made of the information. A dollar is a common amount for a nominal reward. It could also be $5 or a hundred dollars or something like that. The point is not really the exact amount, but what the amount expresses. If nominal damages only give you $1.00, why would a plaintiff want to claim or want to claim it? As a general rule, plaintiffs do not seek symbolic damages. Often, the judge or jury awards symbolic damages based on the facts of the case. Let`s look at how nominal damages can work in a contractual case. As a general rule, symbolic damages are awarded in one of two situations. In some cases, the plaintiff seeks damages but has not provided any evidence of its losses.
In other cases, the plaintiff did not suffer physical loss, but became a victim in some way. These are damages awarded by the courts resulting from unusual losses that the parties knew would result from a breach of contract. Symbolic damages include a small amount awarded by the court to the plaintiff for breach of contract that does not cause any financial harm to the plaintiff. Taylor signed a contract with Winnie to supply him with reinforced steel. Winnie will use steel to build a new production facility for her company. Winnie withdraws from the contract when she realizes she can get the steel 10% cheaper from a competitor. If Taylor sues Winnie, what options does he have for damages? Some of the main reasons why a person can make a nominal claim for damages are: Ultimately, nominal damages are best used in situations where there may be no calculable damages. But there is, without a doubt, a damage that deserves to be formally recognized in court. The award of symbolic damages in the context of a contractual claim is not very common. Indeed, these cases usually involve financial losses when a legal injustice has occurred.
Other types of damages are more commonly awarded, including damages, liquidation damages, punitive damages, and restitution. You may have heard of damages and punitive damages awarded for a personal injury claim, but a nominal claim may not appear on an invoice. Ehline Law and our personal injury lawyers will help you explain the concept of nominal harm, why the court grants them and what they are used for. What do you think of the concept of consequential damage? Is it fair to impose this extent of liability on a party if it does not form part of the subject matter of the contract? Why or why not? However, the Supreme Court overturned the decision and awarded the plaintiff symbolic damages. It held that symbolic damages can compensate for any prior injury and that an action for damages does not require an exception of damages to satisfy the requirement of remedy. In a question-and-answer session on the UVA Act, Bayefsky explained the symbolic compensation and implications for future courts. Company B may not have entered into a second contract with Company A and intends to break the contract, but that does not change the fact that Company A entered into the contract on the basis of fraud or deception. In this case, Company B could be awarded symbolic damages for the deception. When a plaintiff wins in court, they usually receive damages to compensate for their losses. In a contractual dispute, damages are generally monetary benefits that include: The courts will only hear cases of plaintiffs who believe they have committed legal wrongdoing and seek some form of compensation. However, if the plaintiff cannot prove the harm suffered or if the loss cannot be measured, he can still claim damages by bringing an action for symbolic damages. Contractual claims can be complex and difficult, especially when calculating losses.
If you are filing a breach of contract claim, you should contact a local lawyer to help you with your case and determine if nominal harm is appropriate.