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Suit for Damages

Last updated date: 09th Apr 2024
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Meaning of Suit for Damages

When two parties undergo any signed contact, both agree to perform certain obligations. However, if any of the parties break the promise bringing loss to the other party, the latter has complete right to file a damage case against the former. The Indian Contract Act, 1872 has laid down specific clauses under the suit for damages, giving full right to file the lawsuit against the party for breaking the promise.

Compensation in Damages for Breach of Contract Cases

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 has laid down some rules that determine the compensation to be paid by the party for breaking the contract. Here are some of the rules-

  • The suffering party has the complete right to claim compensation for the loss arising naturally or due to the course of certain events.

  • In case the party knew about the breach of the contract and loss to be suffered, he can claim the compensation.

  • Special damages if claimed when the suffering party has already served notice about it earlier. Moreover, the party suffering the loss has the complete right to take steps to minimize the loss.

  • In case of exceptional damage cases, it is best to check out with a professional lawyer who can describe the law or act stated under the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Three Essential Elements of the Damage

There are three essentials’ elements of damages pointed by the act-

  1. Detriment the wrongdoings by another

  2. Compensation awarded to the loss bearded through legal remedies

  3. Quantum being determined by dual components for the tangible loss suffered

Types of Damages

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 has led to different types of damages in contract law, which both parties should be aware of before signing. Let us now check types of damages in the contract law-

Compensatory Damages

Under this, there are two types of compensatory damages- General Damages and Special Damages.

  • General Damages- Also known as Ordinary Damages, these are the damages caused naturally due to contract breach. These damages are restricted to direct consequences arising due to unforeseen circumstances.

  • Special Damages- These are consequential damages caused due to the breach of contract and special circumstances. Special damages are awarded by courts when parties are making a contract; these circumstances are unforeseen by the party committing the violation.

Let us clear this idea with an example- A hired the service of B to transport a machine to his factory on an urgent basis. Meanwhile, A informed B that his business stopped for the need of the machine. However, B delayed the delivery of the machine for some time. This resulted in the loss of a huge order for A since he did not have the machine.

In this case, A has the full right to claim compensation from B. The amount could be the profit that can be made by A from the project.

Nominal Damages

In this type of suit for damages, if the party files the lawsuit for the loss occurred by the second party and proves there has been a breach of contract, he is liable to get compensation. The nominal damage suit is established to keep the right to a decree for the violation of the contract.

Liquidated Damages

Some contracts include provisions having a pre-set amount of damages that will come to use during the event of a breach. These types of suits for damages are called Liquidated Damages. These damages are included when they are difficult to predict and have no clue about the estimated damage.

Damages for Deterioration Caused by the Delay

In this case of damage, if party B transporting the goods of A, and delays causing them to deteriorate, then A has full right to file the suit for damages for the delay caused. Here, deterioration can be physical damage to goods and loss of the sale opportunity.

Speculative Damages

The speculative damages are allowed during the circumstances which can lead to a loss for the party. There are two circumstances in this regard-

  1. When the damage is uncertain, i.e., not due to a specific result of the breach

  2. Damages, which are uncertain in the amount

In many cases, uncertain damages are unrecoverable. However, damages, which are attributable to the wrong, is recoverable. Parties falling under speculative damages situations must connect with professionals.

Aggravated and Exemplary Damages

These damages are those, which exceeds the speculated amount, resulting from the conduct of the defendant. Aggravated damages gain importance when the plaintiff due to motives, behaviour or manner of inflicting injury causes the damage. These damages are compensatory in all nature.

Exemplary Damages, on the other hand, are punishable. They intend to punish the defendant.

Limitation Period for a Suit of Damages

The limitation period for a suit for damages in a court of law following a breach of contract, whether express or implicit, is three years when not specified explicitly. In the case of a complaint about damages, the period of limitations begins when the real contract is violated.

Remoteness of Damages

The idea of remoteness of damage is significant. Once a mistake has produced harm, there must be liabilities. The question is how much responsibility can be fixed and what factors influence it. The legal criteria used to establish which sorts of losses caused by a breach of contract may be compensated by a monetary judgement are known as the remoteness of damages. The standard for determining whether the claimed damages are too remote is whether the damage is such that the parties must have contemplated it as a possible effect of the breach. If it is, it cannot be regarded too far away. The damages must be calculated based on the natural and foreseeable consequences of the breach. Actual knowledge must be demonstrated to demonstrate that knowledge is more than simple imprudence and negligence. The defendant is only responsible for reasonably foreseeable losses—those that a normally prudent person would have reason to anticipate as possible results of a future breach if he were standing in his position and knowing his information at the time of contracting.


The Civil Court's pronouncement in respect of a person's claim to the property, whether movable or immovable or any other right, which once passed, becomes enforceable on the entire world, is known as a declaration. It is used in civil cases where the court declares the parties' rights, liabilities, and responsibilities in relation to specific issues.

Who is eligible to file a declaration suit:

  1. Persons having any legal character or

  2. The person has no right to any property.

Whom the suit can be brought against:

  1. Any person who is denying a right or

  2. Interested to deny his title of such character of right.


Since we have listed different types of damages, you must have complete knowledge about how the Indian Contract Act, 1872 has accordingly explained each. This suit of damages is an essential part of a business deal to make things look professional.

FAQs on Suit for Damages

1. Do i need a lawyer for assistance during the suit of damage or breach of contract damage?

In case you are facing any legal issues like the breach of contract or suit of damage, it is best advised to seek professional lawyer assistance. The right lawyer will review the contract and advise you on the proceedings.

2. If in the contract, the penalty amount mentioned is rs 100,000, but the actual loss caused is rs 70,000. How much does the respondent have to pay for the damage?

If in the contract, the penalty amount is Rs 100,000 and the actual loss is Rs70, 000, then the suffering party should claim for Rs 70,000.

3. What does the term "loss" or "damage" imply?

The Term "Loss" or "Damage" Means:

Physical damage, disability, loss of enjoyment, loss of comfort, discomfort, or disappointment, hurt feelings, vexation, mental suffering, and loss of reputation are all examples of harm to people.

Injury to an economic position is the amount by which the plaintiff is worse off than he would have been otherwise, and would include lost profits, expenditures spent, charges, damages paid to third parties, and so on.

Property harm, i.e., property damage or destruction

Any other loss, direct or indirect, charge, cost, expense, liability, or increased liability suffered or incurred by the Agency (including any loss of profits or loss of use resulting from such damage or destruction) and any other charge, cost, expense, liability, or increased liability howsoever arising suffered or incurred by the Agency.

4. How can the damage be measured?

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties that requires them to undertake specific responsibilities. If one of the parties fails to comply without justification, that party is in violation of the contract and liable in civil court. The measure of harm or measure of damages is concerned with the legal rules guiding recoverability; the concept of the remoteness of injury limits the recoverability of damages. Questions of the magnitude of damages are simply concerned with the number of damages to be awarded and are thus distinct from questions of measure of damages; the latter requires examination of the law. However, in most cases, the amount of damages is not defined and must be calculated more generically. Rather than ordering a party to perform ("particular performance"), courts usually award monetary damages. Indeed, even in real-estate cases, courts will only award specific performance if statutes require it or monetary damages are inadequate to make the plaintiff whole, and the plaintiff carries the burden of establishing that specific performance is required.

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