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Am Jur 2d - Damages § 48

III. Compensatory Damages, C. Measure and Elements in Breach-of-Contract Cases, 1. In General, § 48 - Generally

Damages for breach of contract serve the same purpose as restoration damages: to make the injured party whole.[1] In breach-of-contract cases, the injured party is entitled to recover all damages that accrue naturally from the breach.[2]

However, contract damages are intended only to compensate an injured party fairly and adequately for the loss sustained.[3] That is, an award of damages is measured by,[4] or judged solely by,[5] the losses suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the breach. The party injured by a breach of contract is limited to damages based on his or her actual loss caused by the breach[6] and should be awarded neither less nor more than his or her actual damages.[7] As a general rule, a nonbreaching party is not entitled, through the award of damages, to achieve a better or superior position to the one it would reasonably have occupied had the breach not occurred.[8]


Contract damages normally are awarded on an all-or-nothing basis.[9]

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1   Road & Highway Builders v. N. Nev. Rebar, 284 P.3d 377, 128 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 36 (Nev. 2012) ; McEwen v. MCR, LLC, 2012 MT 319, 368 Mont. 38, 291 P.3d 1253 (2012) ; Centurion Stone of Nebraska v. Trombino, 19 Neb. App. 643, 812 N.W.2d 303 (2012) , review denied, (June 6, 2012); Landis v. William Fannin Builders, Inc., 193 Ohio App. 3d 318, 2011-Ohio-1489, 951 N.E.2d 1078 (10th Dist. Franklin County 2011) .
 As to the purpose of compensatory damages to make a party whole, generally, see § 28 .

2   224 Westlake, LLC v. Engstrom Properties, LLC, 169 Wash. App. 700, 281 P.3d 693 (Div. 1 2012) .
 The ultimate goal in measuring damages for a breach-of-contract claim is to provide just compensation for any loss or damage actually sustained as a result of the breach. Sharifi v. Steen Automotive, LLC, 370 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. App. Dallas 2012) .

3   Digitech Computer, Inc. v. Trans-Care, Inc., 646 F.3d 413 (7th Cir. 2011) (applying Indiana law) .

4   Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. v. EON Properties, LLC, 968 N.E.2d 305 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) .
 The measure of damages for breach of contract is compensation for the loss sustained. Helpin v. Trustees of University of Pennsylvania, 608 Pa. 45, 10 A.3d 267, 262 Ed. Law Rep. 932 (2010) .

5   Walker v. Ticor Title Co. of California., 204 Cal. App. 4th 363, 138 Cal. Rptr. 3d 820 (1st Dist. 2012) .

6   FCM Group, Inc. v. Miller, 300 Conn. 774, 17 A.3d 40 (2011) ; Hawa v. Moore, 947 N.E.2d 421 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011) .

7   Sharifi v. Steen Automotive, LLC, 370 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. App. Dallas 2012) .
 The aggrieved party can recover nothing more than will compensate him or her. Helpin v. Trustees of University of Pennsylvania, 608 Pa. 45, 10 A.3d 267, 262 Ed. Law Rep. 932 (2010) .

8   Kansas Gas and Elec. Co. v. U.S., 685 F.3d 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2012) ; Stockton East Water District v. United States, 109 Fed. Cl. 460 (2013) ; OK's Cascade Co. v. U.S., 97 Fed. Cl. 635 (2011) , aff'd, 467 Fed. Appx. 888 (Fed. Cir. 2012) ; L.H. Controls, Inc. v. Custom Conveyor, Inc., 974 N.E.2d 1031 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) .
 The law cannot elevate the injured party to a better position than it would have been in had the contract been performed by both parties. Asamoah-Boadu v. State, 328 S.W.3d 790 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 2010) , reh'g and/or transfer denied, (Mar. 1, 2011).
 As to the rule against duplicate recoveries, generally, see § 32 .

9   Strong Const., Inc. v. City of Torrington, 2011 WY 82, 255 P.3d 903 (Wyo. 2011) .

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