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2011-05-13 09:52:02

Damages in English Law
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  1. Robinson v Harman (1848) - Parke B's speech
    The rule of the common law is that where a party sustains a loss by reason of breach of contract, he is, so far as money do it, to be placed in the same situation with respect to damages, as if the contract had been performed.
  2. Alfred McAlpine v Panatown (2001)
    Measuring loss. McAlpine built a defective carpark but Panatown did not own the land, so suffered no actual loss. Their sister company owned it. Panatown could not sue for substantial damages as they suffered no loss.
  3. Linden Gardens Trust Ltd v Lanesta Sludge Disposal (1994)
    Measuring loss.Wealthy philapthropist paid for the roof of village hall to be fixed. Was done defectively but he personally suffered no loss though he did not receive what he had bargained for.
  4. Ruxley Electronics and Construction v Forsyth (1996)
    Loss of Amenity.Ruxley built a pool for Forsyth. It was not to the depth Forsyth specified.The cost of cure was £20K.To fix the pool would have been an unnacceptable hardship.Held:Judges awarded £2,500 for loss of amenity.Courts bear in mind reasonableness and common sense. The pool was fit for purpose, Forsyth would not be using the money to fix the pool and the house did not lose any value.
  5. Barclays Bank Ltd v WJ Simms (1980)
    Restitution. A customer stopped a cheque that he paid to his builder. The bank paid out by mistake but sought repayment from the builder.Held: The bank recovered their money under restitution. Goff: If a person pays money to another under a mistake of fact with causes him to make payment, he is prima facie, enitled to recover the money.
  6. White Arrow Express v Lamey's Distribution (1996)
    Restitution. Partial Consideration. White arrow paid for a delux delivery service but in reality got just the same as a normal service. They could not show a loss but sough to claim the proportion that accounted for the extra service. Held: There was not a total failure of consideration so they got only nominal damages. THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW RECOVERY BASED ON PARTIAL FAILURE OF CONSIDERATION.
  7. Rover International Ltd v Cannon Film Sales (1989)
    Restitution. Mistake. Rover was distributing Cannon's films in Italy and in the agreement stated that they would not release a film without Cannon's say so. They breached this and Cannon terminated. Rover had been paying advances to Cannon totalling $312K. Held: There was a mistake of fact so Rover got their money back under restitution.
  8. Attorney General v Blake (2001)
    Restitution. Unjust enrichment.Blake was a spy who wrote a book after leaving MI6. This was against his confidentiality agreement. He wrote a book and the crown sought the profits.Held: Crown got an account of profits because they had a legitimate interest. This case is exceptional because Blake had committed a crime and the case was in the public interest, usually judges give just a share of profits.
  9. Esso v Niad (2001)
    Restitution. After Blake. Niad owned a garage and frequently broke the agreement to sell petrol at Esso's price stipulation. There was no real loss to Esso as he still bought from them. Held: Esso could either have account of profits, or compensation but not both. 4 parts to decision a)compensation was inadequeate b)price fixing was core to the agreement c)Niad broke agreement 4 times d) Esso had a legitimate interest in preventing profit.
  10. The Sine Nomine (2002)
    Restitution. After Blake. A shipowner withdrew a ship from the charter in breach so he could get a more lucrative charter. Charter argued the Blake principle that they had a legitimate interest. Held: The claim failed as it was a commercial contract and it was not abnormal for contracts to be broken that way. The charter could find an alternative.
  11. Experience Hendrix LLC v PPX Enterprise (2003)
    Restitution. After Blake. PPX were entitled to the masters of various Hendrix recordings provided they paid royalties to the Estate. PPX granted licenses which were not agreed and Hendrix brought action. Held: It would be anomalous if PPX got to keep the money without paying royalties but the case was no so exceptional as to warrant an account for profits so PPX paid a "reasonable sum".
  12. Teacher v Calder (1899)
    Restitution. If compensatory damages are an adequate remedy, a claim in restitution will fail.
  13. CCC Films v Impact Quadrant (1985)
    Reliance Interest. Bad bargain. Impact granted CCC rights to 3 of their films which were lost on delivery to CCC. No followups were sent but CCC could not show loss of profits but wanted to recover a $12K spend they made before the contract was formed. Held: Despite Impact's claims that the film would never have recouped the $12K, CCC were entitled to the money back as Impact failed to prove this. Unless there has been a total failure of consideration, a claimant cannot escape a bad bargain. It is for the defendant to prove there was a bad bargain. Impact did not do this.