Damages (Breach of Contract)

From Riverview Legal Group

Gladu v Robineau, 2017 ONSC 37 (CanLII)

[297] Damages for breach of contract are compensatory in nature, based on the value of the contractual right. Essentially, the “contract breaker is bound to make good the loss caused by the breach, a loss measured by the value of the performance promised”: see S.M. Waddams, The Law of Damages, loose-leaf (consulted on 8 December 2016), (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2015), at p. 5-1; and Simpson v. Hatzipetrakos, [2009] O.J. No. 3728, at para. 24.

[298] This differs from damages for the tort of fraudulent misrepresentation, which seek to put the plaintiff in the position it would have been in had the misrepresentation not been made; see Waddams, at p. 5-19.

[299] A court will not award more than “a nominal sum of damages for the loss of a mere chance of possible benefit except upon evidence proving that there was some reasonable probability of the plaintiff realizing therefrom an advantage of some real substantial monetary value”: see Kinkel v. Hyman, 1939 CanLII 7 (SCC), (1939) S.C.R. 364, at p. 383.

[300] The general rule is that the breach must cause the loss. “[T]he burden is on the plaintiff to establish on the balance of probabilities that as a reasonable and probable consequence of the breach of contract, the plaintiff suffered the damages claimed: see Eastwalsh Homes Ltd. v. Anatal Developments Ltd., 1993 CanLII 3431 (ON CA), 12 O.R. (3d) 675 (C.A.), at p. 687.

Pilon v Rosu, 2014 CanLII 140 (ON SCSM)

34. The plaintiffs claim damages consisting of various wasted expenses including moving and storage costs, legal fees, rental of the basement apartment, the wasted inspection cost, replacement of Christmas gifts which ended up in storage due to these events, and replacement of clothes and toiletries including diapers on an emergency basis. They also claim general damages of $10,000. The total damages claim as pleaded is $17,082.80. Finally, they ask that their deposit of $2,500 be returned.

52. In addition I would have made an award for general damages or aggravated damages based on my finding that the scope and extent of mental distress which would have been within the contemplation of the parties at the time of contract formation (had that occurred) supported such an award in the unusual circumstances of this case. I would have awarded $5,000.

Webster v. B.C.R. Construction Incorporated, 2014 ONSC 5657 (CanLII)

[26] In paragraph 1 of the Statement of Claim, the plaintiff asked for damages for breach of contract. No amount was specified. In paragraph 10 of the Amended Statement of Claim, the plaintiff asked for special damages in the amount of $13,005.76 and general damages, the particulars of which were not then known. In paragraph 3 of the reasons for decision, the Trial Judge listed the 5 heads of damages. We agree with counsel for the respondent that all material facts had been pleaded in the Statement of Claim and the evidence at trial dealt with those damages. We are not persuaded that the Trial Judge erred in law in awarding those damages even though the specific heads of damages and an amount in excess of $13,005.76 had not been pleaded.