Asked in Contracts for New York

Q: what is required to prove in order to recover damages for breach of contract

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mathew Paulose Jr.
Mathew Paulose Jr.
  • Bronxville, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Greetings. It appears you may be asking two questions: (1) what is required to prove damages in a breach of contract action or (2) what is required to prove a breach of contract so that you may be awarded damages. This response attempts to answer the first question. For a plaintiff to prove damages in a breach of contract, they must show that they suffered some kind of monetary harm. In New York, damages are categorized as (a) reliance damages, (b) restitution damages, and (c) expectation damages. A plaintiff is entitled to seek whichever one is the greatest. Reliance damages are those pecuniary losses that the plaintiff suffered because they relied on the contract's performance. Restitution damages are those pecuniary losses that the plaintiff suffered because they paid the other party for the contract's performance. Finally, expectation damages are those pecuniary losses that the plaintiff suffered because they did not get what they bargained for. All three types must be supported with testimonial evidence or documents revealing the amounts lost. Please note, even if a plaintiff suffered no monetary harm, they could still sue for breach of contract but their damages would be limited to "nominal damages", which is usually $1. Please contact a good New York lawyer for further information. Good luck.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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