Am Jur 2d - Damages § 8

II. Nominal Damages, A. Overview, § 8 - Definition

The term "nominal damages" describes two types of awards: (1) those damages recoverable where a legal right is to be vindicated against an invasion that has produced no actual, present loss of any kind;[1] and (2) the very different allowance made when actual loss or injury is shown, but the plaintiff fails to prove the amount of damages.[2] Nominal damages are, by definition, minimal monetary damages.[3]

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1   Roberson v. C.P. Allen Const. Co., Inc., 50 So. 3d 471 (Ala. Civ. App. 2010) ; Kluge v. O'Gara, 227 Cal. App. 2d 207, 38 Cal. Rptr. 607 (1st Dist. 1964) ; Wasko v. Manella, 87 Conn. App. 390, 865 A.2d 1223 (2005) ; Lassitter v. International Union of Operating Engineers, 349 So. 2d 622 (Fla. 1976) ; King v. Brock, 282 Ga. 56, 646 S.E.2d 206 (2007) ; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Guard, 283 Ky. 187, 139 S.W.2d 722 (1940) ; Baker v. Farrand, 2011 ME 91, 26 A.3d 806 (Me. 2011) ; Kleban v. Eghrari-Sabet, 174 Md. App. 60, 920 A.2d 606 (2007) ; Bumgart v. Bailey, 247 Miss. 604, 156 So. 2d 823 (1963) ; McClellan v. Highland Sales & Inv. Co., 484 S.W.2d 239 (Mo. 1972) ; Hairston v. Atlantic Greyhound Corporation, 220 N.C. 642, 18 S.E.2d 166 (1942) (recognizing rule); MBM Financial Corp. v. Woodlands Operating Co., L.P., 292 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2009) ; Brown v. Johnston, 2004 WY 17, 85 P.3d 422 (Wyo. 2004) .
 "Nominal damages" are a mere token, signifying that plaintiff's rights were technically invaded even though plaintiff cannot prove any loss or damage. Griffith v. State of Colo., Div. of Youth Services, 17 F.3d 1323, 143 A.L.R. Fed. 677 (10th Cir. 1994) .
 "Nominal damages" are a trivial sum of money awarded to a litigant who has established a cause of action but has not established that he is entitled to compensatory damages. Cherry v. Augustus, 245 S.W.3d 766 (Ky. Ct. App. 2006) .
 "Nominal compensatory damages" are damages awarded when an injury has been proven, but it is impossible to calculate the damages therefrom. Kleban v. Eghrari-Sabet, 174 Md. App. 60, 920 A.2d 606 (2007) .

2   Powell v. Ward, 643 F.2d 924 (2d Cir. 1981) ; Bains LLC v. Arco Products Co., Div. of Atlantic Richfield Co., 405 F.3d 764 (9th Cir. 2005) ; Engineered Cooling Services, Inc. v. Star Service, Inc. of Mobile, 108 So. 3d 1022 (Ala. Civ. App. 2012) ; Zok v. State, 903 P.2d 574 (Alaska 1995) ; Kluge v. O'Gara, 227 Cal. App. 2d 207, 38 Cal. Rptr. 607 (1st Dist. 1964) ; Wasko v. Manella, 87 Conn. App. 390, 865 A.2d 1223 (2005) ; King v. Brock, 282 Ga. 56, 646 S.E.2d 206 (2007) ; Ferreira v. Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Limited, 44 Haw. 567, 356 P.2d 651 (1960) ; Baker v. Farrand, 2011 ME 91, 26 A.3d 806 (Me. 2011) ; McClellan v. Highland Sales & Inv. Co., 484 S.W.2d 239 (Mo. 1972) ; Shearing v. City of Rochester, 51 Misc. 2d 436, 273 N.Y.S.2d 464 (Sup 1966) ; Lacey v. Laird, 166 Ohio St. 12, 1 Ohio Op. 2d 158, 139 N.E.2d 25 (1956) ; MBM Financial Corp. v. Woodlands Operating Co., L.P., 292 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2009) ; Gilmartin v. Stevens Inv. Co., 43 Wash. 2d 289, 261 P.2d 73 (1953) , opinion adhered to on reh'g, 43 Wash. 2d 289, 266 P.2d 800 (1954) .

3   Zok v. State, 903 P.2d 574 (Alaska 1995) .

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