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CHAPTER I.

DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES.

SECTION 1. DEFINITION.

Damages are the pecuniary reparation which the law compels a wrongdoer to make to the person injured by his

his wrong.'

SECTION 2. THEORY OF DAMAGES.

The general theory upon which the law allows damages for the violation of a civil right is based upon the doctrine that where a civil injury has been sustained the law provides a remedy that should be commensurate to the injury sustained.?

Compensation is the fundamental principle governing the award of damages. Damages are given as an indemnity to the person injured, not as a punishment to the wrongdoer.

An exception to this rule, however, is found in the case of torts accompanied by fraud, gross negligence, malice or oppression; in such cases exemplary damages are sometimes awarded as a punishment to the offender.1

· Hale on Damages, p. 1. In

Finch vs. Hermans, 5 Luz. Leg. Reg. (Pa.), 125: "damage was defined to be the loss caused by one person to another, either to his person, property, or relative rights, through design, carelessness, or default, while' damages are the indemnity recoverable by the injured party from the

party who has caused the in

jury.' • Rockwood vs. Allen, 7 Mass., 254;

Bartholomew vs. Bentley, 15

Ohio, 659, 45 Am. Dec., 596. : Sears vs. Conover, 42 N. Y., 113;

Rice vs. Stone, 1 Allen (Mass.),

566. • Emblem vs. Myers, 6 Hurl. & N.,

54; Day vs. Woodworth, 13 Howard," 363. See Section 6 on Exemplary Damages.

Vol. IV.-13.

193

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SECTION 3. PRINCIPAL RULES GOVERNING DAMAGES.

The most fundamental general rule with regard to damages is that requiring certainty. The rule on this point has been well stated as follows: "Damagas must be certain; both in their nature and in respect to the cause from which they proceed. Hypothetical or speculative damages are not recoverable."'5

The cardinal principle in relation to the damages
to be compensated for on the breach of a contract
is that the plaintiff must establish the quantum of his
loss, by evidence from which the jury will be able to
estimate the extent of his injury, and will exclude all
such elements of injury as are incapable of being ascer-
tained by the usual rules of evidence to a reasonable
degree of certainty.

It is not, however, a sufficient reason for disallow-
ing damages claimed that a party can state their
amount only proximately, it is enough if from proxim-
ate estimates of witnesses a satisfactory conclusion
can be reached.'
Sedgwick on Damages, P: 26.

Redf. on Neg. (4th Ed.),
• Wolcott vs. Mount, 36 N. J. L.,

Sec. 759. “Where compensa262, 13 Am. St. Rep., 438.

tory damages only are given, | 13 Cyc., 37. Satchwelí vs. Wil

the recovery must be confined liams, 40 Conn., 371. In Duke

to the actual damages susV8. Missouri Pac. R. Co.,

tained.” Hannibal Bridge Co. Mo., 347, 351, 12 S. W., 636,

vs. Schanbacker, 57 Mo., 582. the Court said: "Where there

“And when such damages are is no evidence showing the

susceptible of proof with apamount, or the proximate

proximate accuracy, and may amount of expenses incurred

be measured with some degree for medicines, medical atten

of certainty, they should not tion or like services, the jury

be left to the guess of the jury, have no basis upon which to

even in actions ex delicto. form an estimate of the dam

Parsons vs. Missouri Pac. R. ages that ought to be assessed

Co., 94 Mo., 286, 6 S. W., 484; on account thereof, and dam

Pritchard vs. Hewitt, 91 Mo., ages of this kind cannot be

547, 4 S. W., 437, 60 Ám. Rep., found except upon such proof."

265. The question of cerEckerd vs. Chicago, etc., R.

tainty of damages will be Co., 70 Iowa, 353, 30 N. W.,

touched upon to a very con615; Reed vs. Chicago, etc., R.

siderable extent in each of the Co., 57 Iowa, 23, 10 N. W., 285;

remaining chapters on the subCrowley vs. St. Louis, etc., R.

ject of Damages. Co., 24 Mo. App., 119; VB.

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Next in importance to the rule as to certainty of damages comes the rule as to proximate cause. Damages can be recovered only from those injuries which are the proximate result of the act which is the basis of the action. Damages which are the remote result of such act cannot be recovered for.

SECTION 4. CLASSIFICATION.

Before going further into the classification of consequences and losses, it is necessary to denote a brief chapter to the classification of damages. The next chapter will, therefore, explain the important classes of damages as follows: Compensatory damages, exemplary damages, nominal damages, and substantial damages. • See Chapter III on Classification

contract, the advantage to be of Consequences of Losses.

derived from which is money, Sedgwick in his work on Dam

or money's worth, the party ages (p. 39), gives the follow

entitled to such advantage can ing so-called rules of exclusion,

only recover for elements of enumerating the classes of

injury pecuniary in character. cases in which no damages can

(4) In actions for the recovbe recovered.

ery of money only, no damages (1) No recovery can be had are recoverable beyond the for damages attributable to any

principal sum with interest. cause other than the cause of

(5) În an original proceeding action.

there can be no recovery for (2) No recovery can be had

time or money spent in the for remote damages.

litigation beyond costs. (3) In actions for breach of a

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