Definition of DAMAGES in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms.

Definition of DAMAGES

A pecuniary compensation or indemnity, which may be recovered in the courts by any person who has suffered loss, detriment, or injury, whether to his person, property, or rights, through the unlawful act or omission or negligence of another. Scott v. Donald, 165 U.S. 58, 17 S.Ct. 265, 41 L.Ed. 632; Wainscott v. Loan Ass'n, 98 Cal. 253, 33 P. 88; Strong v. Neidermeier, 230 Mich. 117, 202 N.W. 938, 940; Greer v. Board of Com'rs of Knox County, 33 Ohio App. 539, 169 N. E. 709, 710.

Compensation for the loss or injury suffered. Holmes Electric Protective Co. of Philadelphia v. Goldstein, 147 Pa. Super. 506, 24 A.2d 161, 165; In re Rushford's Estate, 111 Vt. 494, 18 A.2d 175, 176; Brown v. Cummins Distilleries Corporation, D.C.Ky., 56 F.Supp. 941, 942. A just compensation or reparation for a loss or injury sustained. McNaghten Loan Co. v. Sandifer, 137 Kan. 353, 20 P.2d 523, 526. All factors going to make up total amount which plaintiff may recover under correct principles of law. Binder v. Harris, 267 Mass. 162, 166 N.E. 707, 708. Reasonable compensation for legal injury. Sechrist v. Bowman, 307 Pa. 301, 161 A. 332, 335. The award made to a person because of a legal wrong done to him by another. Eklund v. Evans, 211 Minn. 164, 300 N.W. 617, 619. The estimated reparation in money for detriment or injury sustained, and as payment for or indemnity for injuries. Sycamore Preserve Works v. Chicago & N. W. R. Co., 284 I11. App. 445, 1 N.E.2d 522, 526. The pecuniary compensation, recompense, or satisfaction for an injury sustained, Fogle v. Frazel, 201 La. 899, 10 So.2d 695, 698. A sum awarded as a fair measure of compensation to plaintiff, the amount being, as near as can be estimated, that by which he is the worse for the defendant's wrongdoing. Chafin v. Gay Coal & Coke Co., 113 W.Va. 823, 169 S.E. 485, 487. A sum of money assessed by a jury on finding for the plaintiff or successful party in an action, as a compensation for the injury done him by the opposite party. 2 BI.Comm. 438; Co.Litt. 257a; 2 Tidd, Pr. 869, 870. In its early signification the term included "costs", the terms are now regarded as distinct, State ex rel. Marcri v. City of Bremerton, 8 Wash.2d 93, 111 P.2d 612, 616. Synonymous with: "compensation", Maryland Casualty Co. v. Pitman, 70 Ga.App. 670, 29 S.E.2d 102; "condemnation money", Eldridge v. Sutton, 171 Okl. 11, 41 P.2d 680, 682; "judgment", Stearns v. Ritchie, 128 Me. 368, 147 A. 703, 705. In the ancient usage, the word "damages" was employed in two significations. According to Coke, its proper and general sense included the costs of suit, while its strict or relative sense was exclusive of costs. 10 Coke, 116, 117; Co.Litt. 257a; 9 East, 299. The latter meaning has alone survived.

Actual damages

Real, substantial and just damages, or the amount awarded to a complainant in compensation for his actual and real loss or injury, as opposed on the one hand to "nominal" damages, and on the other to "exemplary" or "punitive" damages. Ross v. Leggett, 61 Mich. 445, 28 N.W. 695, 1 Am.St.Rep. 608; Gatzow v. Buening, 106 Wis. 1, 81 N.W. 1003, 49 L.R.A. 475; Osborn v. Leach, 135 N.C. 628, 47 S.E. 811, 66 L.R.A. 648; Winans v. Chapman, 104 Kan. 664, 180 P. 266, 267. Synonymous with "compensatory damages" and with "general damages." Ringgold v. Land, 212 N.C. 369, 193 S.E. 267, 268; News Leader Co. v. Kocen, 173 Va. 95, 3 S.E.2d 385, 391, 122 A.L.R. 842; Anderson v. Alcus, Tex.Civ.App., 42 S.W.2d 294, 296.

Affirmative damages

In admiralty law, the damages which a respondent in a libel for injuries to a vessel may recover, which may. be in excess of any amount which the libellant would be entitled to claim. Ebert v. The Reuben Doud, D.C.Wis., 3 F. 520.

Civil damages

Those awarded against a liquor-seller to the relative, guardian, or employer of the person to whom the sales were made, on a showing that the plaintiff has been thereby injured in person, property, or means of support. Headington v. Smith, 113 Iowa 107, 84 N.W. 982.

Compensatory damages

Compensatory damages are such as will compensate the injured party for the injury sustained, and nothing more; such as will simply make good or replace the loss caused by the wrong or injury. McKnight v. Denny, 198 Pa. 323, 47 A. 970; Wade v. Power Co., 51 S.C. 296, 29 S.E. 233, 64 Am.St.Rep. 676; Gatzow v. Buening, 106 Wis. 1, 81 N.W. 1003, 49 L.R.A. 475.

Consequential damages

Such damage, loss, or injury as does not flow directly and immediately from the act of the party, but only from some of the consequences or results of such act. Swain v. Copper Co., 111 Tenn. 430, 78 S.W. 93; McKibbin v. Pierce, Tex.Civ.App., 190 S.W. 1149, 1151; Mawson v. Vess Beverage Co., Mo.App., 173 S.W.2d 606, 613; U. S. v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co., C.C.A.Minn., 82 F.2d 131, 136, 106 A.L.R. 942.

The term means sometimes damage which is so remote as not to be actionable; sometimes damage which, though somewhat remote, is actionable; or damage which, though actionable, does not follow immediately, in point of time, upon the doing of the act complained of. Eaton v. Railroad Co., 51 N.H. 504, 12 Am.Rep. 147.

Contingent damages

Where a demurrer has been filed to one or more counts in a declaration, and its consideration is postponed, and meanwhile other counts in the same declaration, not demurred to, are taken as issues, and tried, and damages awarded upon them, such damages are called "contingent damages."

Continuing damages

Are such as accrue from the same injury, or from the repetition of similar acts, between two specified periods of time.

Damages ultra

Additional damages claimed by a plaintiff not satisfied with those paid into court by the defendant. Direct damages

Direct damages

are such as follow immediately upon the act done; Eaton v. Railroad Co., 51 N.H. 504, 12 Am.Rep. 147; City of Dublin v. Ogburn, 142 Ga. 840, 83 S.E. 939; McKibbin V. Pierce, Tex. Civ.App., 190 S.W. 1149, 1151; Washington & 0. D. Ry. v. Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., 120 Va. 620, 89 S.E. 131, 133.

Double damages

Twice the amount of actual damages as found by the verdict of a jury allowed by statute in some cases of injuries by negligence, fraud, or trespass. Cross v. United States, 6 Fed.Cas. 892; Daniel v. Vaccaro, 41 Ark. 329.

Excessive damages

Damages awarded by a jury which are grossly in excess of the amount warranted by law on the facts and circumstances of the case; unreasonable or outrageous damages. Taylor v. Giger, Hardin, Ky., 587; Harvesting Mach. Co. v. Gray, 114 Ind. 340, 16 N.E. 787.

Exemplary damages

Exemplary damages are damages on an increased scale, awarded to the plaintiff over and above what will barely compensate him for his property loss, where the wrong done to him was aggravated by circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud, or wanton and wicked conduct on the part of the defendant, and are intended to solace the plaintiff for mental anguish, laceration of his feelings, shame, degradation, or other aggravations of the original wrong, or else to punish the defendant for his evil behavior or to make an example of him, for which reason they are also called "punitive" or "punitory" damages or "vindictive" damages, and (vulgarly) "smart-money." Springer v. Fuel Co., 196 Pa.St. 156, 46 A. 370; Scott v. Donald, 165 .U.S. 58, 17 S.Ct. 265, 41 L.Ed. 632; Gillingham v. Railroad Co., 35 W.Va. 588, 14 S.E. 243, 14 L.R.A. 798; Murphy v. Hobbs, 7 Colo. 541, 5 P. 119, 49 Am.Rep. 366. It is said that the idea of punishment does not enter into the definition; the term being employed to mean an increased award in view of supposed aggravation of the injury to the feelings of plaintiff by the wanton or reckless act of defendant. Brause v. Brause, 190 Iowa 329, 177 N.W. 65, 70.

Fair damages

See Fair Damages.

Fee damages

Damages sustained by and awarded to an abutting owner of real property occasioned by the construction and operation of an elevated railroad in a city street, are so called, because compensation is made to the owner for the injury to, or deprivation of, his easements of light, air, and access, and these are parts of the fee. Dode v. Railway Co., 70 Hun, 374, 24 N.Y.S. 422; People v. Barker, 165 N.Y. 305, 59 N.E. 151.

General damages General damages are such as the law itself implies or presumes to have accrued from the wrong complained of, for the reason that they are its immediate, direct, and proximate result, or such as necessarily result from the injury, or such as did in fact result from the wrong, directly and proximately, and without reference to the special character, condition, or circumstances of the plaintiff. Mood v. Telegraph Co., 40 S.C. 524, 19 S.E. 67; Hopkins v. Veo, 98 Vt. 433, 129 A. 157, 158; United States Frumentum Co. v. Lauhoff, C.C.A.Mich., 216 F. 610, 617; Kane v. New Idea Realty Co., 104 Conn. 508, 133 A. 686, 687.

Imaginary damages

This term is sometimes used as equivalent to "exemplary," "vindictive," or "punitive" damages. Murphy v. Hobbs, 7 Colo. 541, 5 P. 119, 49 Am. Rep. 366.

Inadequate damages

Damages are called "inadequate," within the rule that an injunction will not be granted where adequate damages at law could be recovered for the injury sought to be prevented, when such a recovery at law would not compensate the parties and place them in the position in which they formerly stood. Insurance Co. v. Bonner, 7 Colo. App. 97, 42 P. 681.

Intervening damages

Such damages to an appellee as result from the delay caused by the appeal. McGregor v. Balch, 17 Vt. 568; Roberts v. Warner, 17 Vt. 46, 42 Am. Dec. 478.

Irreparable damages

In the law pertaining to injunctions, damages for which no certain pecuniary standard exists for measurement. Philadelphia Ball Club, Limited, v. Lajoie, 202 Pa. 210, 51 A. 973, 58 L.R.A. 227. Damages not easily ascertainable at law. Krich v. Zemel, 96 N.J.Eq. 208, 124 A. 449, 450. With reference to public nuisances which a private party may enjoin, the term includes wrongs of a repeated and continuing character, or which occasion damages estimable only by conjecture, and not by any accurate standard. Bernard v. Willamette Box & Lumber Co., 64 Or. 223, 129 P. 1039, 1042.

Land damages

A term sometimes applied to the amount of compensation to be paid for land taken under the power of eminent domain or for injury to, or depreciation of, land adjoining that taken. People v. Hilts, 27 Misc.Rep. 290, 58 N.Y.S. 434; In re Lent, 47 App.Div. 349, 62 N.Y.S. 227.

Liquidated damages and penalties

The term is applicable when the amount of the damages has been ascertained by the judgment in the action, or when a specific sum of money has been expressly stipulated by the parties to a bond or other contract as the amount of damages to be recovered by either party for a breach of the agreement by the other. Keeble v. Keeble, 85 Ala. 552, 5 So. 149; Eakin v. Scott, 70 Tex. 442, 7 S.W. 777; Cochrane v. Forbes, 267 Mass. 417, 166 N.E. 752, 753; Varno v. Tindall, 164 Tenn. 642, 51 S.W. 2d 502, 503; Norwood Morris Plan Co. v. McCarthy, 295 Mass. 597, 4 N.E.2d 450, 454, 107 A.L. R. 1215; Factory Realty Corporation v. CorbinHolmes Shoe Co., 312 Mass. 325, 44 N.E.2d 671, 674. The purpose of a penalty is to secure performance, while the purpose of stipulating damages is to fix the amount to be paid in lieu of performance. Christianson v. Haugland, 163 Minn. 73, 203 N.W. 433, 434; Davidow v. Wadsworth Mfg. Co., 211 Mich. 90, 178 N.W. 776, 777, 12 A.L.R. 605; Forsyth v. Central Foundry Co., 240 Ala. 277, 198 So. 706, 710. The essence of a penalty is a stipulation as in terrorem while the essence of liquidated damages is a genuine covenanted preestimate of such damages. Shields v. Early, 132 Miss. 282, 95 So. 839, 840. For other cases pertaining to the distinction between a penalty and liquidated damages, see Fiscal Court of Franklin County v. Kentucky Public Service Co., 181 Ky. 245, 204 S.W. 77, 79; In re Liberty Doll Co., D.C. N.Y., 242 F. 695, 701; Miller v. Blockberger, 111 Ohio St. 798, 146 N.E. 206, 209; Armstrong v. Irwin, 26 Ariz. 1, 221 P. 222, 225, 32 A.L.R. 609.

Necessary damages

A term said to be of much wider scope in the law of damages than "pecuniary." It embraces all those consequences of an injury usually denominated "general" damages, as distinguished from special damages; whereas the phrase "pecuniary damages" covers a smaller class of damages within the larger class of "general" damages. Browning v. Wabash Western R. Co., Mo., 24 S. W. 746.

Nominal damages

Nominal damages are a trifling sum awarded to a plaintiff in an action, where there is no substantial loss or injury to be compensated, but still the law recognizes a technical invasion of his rights or a breach of the defendant's duty, or in cases where, although there has been a real injury, the plaintiff's evidence entirely fails to show its amount. Seeling v. Missouri, K. & T. Ry. Co., 287 Mo. 343, 230 S.W. 94, 102; City of Rainier v. Masters, 79 Or. 534, 155 P. 1197, 1198, L.R.A. 1916E, 1175; Springer v. Fuel Co., 196 Pa. 156, 46 A. 370.

Pecuniary damages

Such as can be estimated in and compensated by money; not merely the loss of money or salable property or rights, but all such loss, deprivation, or injury as can be made the subject of cal: culation and of recompense in money. Walker v. McNeill, 17 Wash. 582, 50 P. 518; Davidson Benedict Co. v. Severson, 109 Tenn. 572, 72 S.W. 967.

Permanent damages

Damages awarded on theory that cause of injury is fixed and that the property will always remain subject to it. Chambers v. Spruce Lighting Co., 81 W.Va. 714, 95 S.E. 192, 194.

Presumptive damages

A term occasionally used as the equivalent of "exemplary" or "punitive" damages. Murphy v. Hobbs, 7 Colo. 541, 5 P. 119, 49 Am.Rep. 366.

Prospective damages Damages which are expected to follow from the act or state of facts made the basis of a plaintiff's suit; damages which have not yet accrued, at the time of the trial, but which, in the nature of things, must necessarily, or most probably, result from the acts or facts complained of. Proximate damages Proximate damages are the immediate and direct damages and natural results of the act complained of, and such as are usual and might have been expected. Remote damages are those attributable immediately to an intervening cause, though it forms a link in an unbroken chain of causation, so that the remote damage would not have occurred if its elements had not been set in motion by the original act or event. Pielke v. Railroad Co., 5 Dak. 444, 41 N.W. 669; Chambers v. Everding & Farrell, 71 Or. 521, 143 P. 616, 619.

Remote damages

The unusual and unexpected result, not reasonably to be anticipated from an accidental or unusual combination of circumstances-a result beyond which the negligent party has no control. Chambers v. Everding & Farrel, 71 Or. 521, 143 P. 616, 620.

Damage is said to be too remote to be actionable when it is not the legal and natural consequence of the act complained of.

The terms "remote damages" and "consequential damages" are not synonymous nor to be used interchangeably; all remote damage is consequential, but it is by no means true that all consequential damage is remote. Eaton v. Railroad Co., 51 N.H. 511, 12 Am.Rep. 147; Chambers v. Everding & Farrell, 71 Or. 521, 143 P. 616, 620.

Special damages

Those which are the actual, but not the necessary, result of the injury complained of, and which in fact follow it as a natural and proximate consequence in the particular case, that is, by reason of special circumstances or conditions. Wallace v. Ah Sam, 71 Cal. 197, 12 P. 46, 60 Am. Rep. 534; Lawrence v. Porter, C.C.A.Mich., 63 F. 62, 11 C.C.A. 27, 26 L.R.A. 167; Huyler's v. RitzCarlton Restaurant & Hotel Co. of Atlantic City, D.C.Del., 6 F.2d 404, 406. Those which are the natural, but not the necessary, result of the injury. Butte Floral Co. v. Reed, 65 Mont. 138, 211 P. 325, 330; Ralph N. Blakeslee Co. v. Rigo, 94 Conn. 481, 109 A. 173,175; Erick Bowman Remedy Co. v. Jensen Salsbery Laboratories, C.C.A.Minn., 17 F.2d 255, 259, 52 A.L.R. 1187.

Speculative damages

Prospective or anticipated damages from the same acts or facts constituting the present cause of action, but which depend upon future developments which are contingent, conjectural, or improbable.

Substantial damages

A sum, assessed by way of damages, which is worth having; opposed to nominal damages, which are assessed to satisfy a bare legal right. Wharton. Considerable in amount and intended as a real compensation for a real injury.

Temporary damages

Damages allowed for intermittent and occasional wrongs, such as injuries to real estate, where cause thereof is removable or abatable. Chambers v. Spruce Lighting Co., 81 W.Va. 714, 95 S.E. 192, 194.

Unliquidated damages

Such as are not yet reduced to a certainty in respect of amount, nothing more being established than the plaintiff's right to recover; or such as cannot be fixed by a mere mathematical calculation from ascertained data in the case. Cox v. McLaughlin, 76 Cal. 60, 18 P. 100, 9 Am. St.Rep. 164; Cook Pottery Co. v. Parker, 86 W. Va. 580, 104 S.E. 51, 53; United Cigarette Mach. Co. v. Brown, 119 Va. 813, 89 S.E. 850, 855, L.R.A. 1917A, 1190; Simons v. Douglas Ex'r, 189 Ky. 644, 225 S.W. 721, 723.

That's the definition of DAMAGES in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms. Courtesy of Cekhukum.com.