Due to the nature of some cases, there may be no actual damage or the amount may be extremely small. In addition, if a plaintiff is unable to provide evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the defendant, the plaintiff has the option of seeking nominal damages. Before a plaintiff can be awarded damages in a civil proceeding, the court must determine the dollar amount in question, which is legally referred to as “actual damages.” For example, Mike and Catherine had a $2,000 contract, but Mike broke the contract. Catherine lost $2,000 as a result and can therefore claim $2,000 in actual damages. If the nominal damages only give you $1.00, why would a claimant ask for it or want it? As a general rule, plaintiffs do not claim nominal damages. Often, the judge or jury awards nominal damages based on the facts available. Nominal losses are rare in contract cases, as the majority of infringement actions typically result in an economic financial loss for the plaintiff. In any event, the plaintiff must continue to prove all the essential elements of a breach of contract claim in order to receive nominal damages. Nominal damages are awarded to a plaintiff in a case where the court decides that the plaintiff suffered an error of law, but no actual financial loss. 3 min read In addition, nominal damages can open the door to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded only in a small number of cases and can only be considered if the plaintiff is previously awarded damages, nominal damages or restitution damages. Two employees of an asset management company, Marathon Asset Management LLP, worked together to copy numerous files containing their employer`s confidential information in the months prior to their departure.

The volume of information was considerable and was copied to USB sticks and removed from the employer`s premises. After they left, the two former employees, along with a number of other former colleagues, founded a competing investment management company. The copying and deletion of the confidential information was a violation of the employees` contractual obligations to Marathon. In the lawsuit against the two former employees, Marathon argued that it was entitled to “Wrotham Park damages” in the amount of £15 million. This type of damages is sometimes referred to as “negotiation damages” or “hypothetical negotiation damages” because it refers to what Marathon claimed former employees would have had to pay in a negotiation to be exempted from their contractual obligations. The concept stems from a restrictive covenant case in a property context in Wrotham Park, a Hertfordshire manor house. Here are some contractual situations in which nominal damages may be awarded: Contractual claims can be complex and difficult, especially when calculating losses. If you are taking legal action for breach of contract, you should contact a local contract attorney to assist you in your case and determine if nominal damages are appropriate. In rare cases, usually not in contractual cases, plaintiffs may seek nominal damages. This can happen if the plaintiff knows they will win the case and simply wants to realize that the injustice has been committed.

They usually don`t need any money and believe their case will be hindered if they demand more than nominal damages. It may seem pointless to award nominal damages because the amount of money is so small. However, nominal damages are still important because they prove that the plaintiff had the legal right to sue and that the defendant`s conduct was wrong. It is often associated with the fact that there is no financial loss, or at least none that can be more than the nominal damage. In some states, courts may include the costs of the lawsuit if they award nominal damages. This happens despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in a 1992 case that the inclusion of attorneys` fees may be unconstitutional due to the large difference in costs between attorneys` fees and the $1 token normally granted to the plaintiff. Some States use this decision to avoid including court costs in an arbitral award for nominal damages. Imagine that plaintiff A sues defendant B because the defendant did not provide the insurance promised in a contract.

Applicant A took other steps to ensure that they were insured. The court could rule in favor of Plaintiff A, but would likely only award nominal damages, since Plaintiff A did not suffer any loss as a result of Defendant B`s actions. Although these are small amounts of money, nominal damages can have a big impact, as was the case with the United States Football League and the National Football League in 1985. The United States Football League won the case and the court awarded the organization $1. The United States Football League eventually received $3 because the antitrust laws used in the case automatically triple the damages awarded. The courts will only hear cases of plaintiffs who believe they have suffered a legal injustice and who seek some form of compensation. However, if the claimant cannot prove the loss suffered or the loss cannot be measured, the claimant can still seek compensation by bringing an action for nominal damages. While premiums may vary from case to case, a successful nominal claim for damages usually results in a symbolic $1 award.

Some courts also include the cost of the lawsuit in the total nominal damage. Here are some of the main reasons why a person can make a nominal claim for damages: Although both employees clearly violated their employment contract, very few of the extracted confidential records were recovered or used after leaving the employment relationship. Marathon could not prove and did not claim that the two former employees had caused them a financial loss. The court dismissed the £15 million claim and instead awarded nominal damages of £1 per employee. The main argument was that the two former employees had not used the confidential files to obtain a benefit.