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Damages



Damages refers to monetary relief that is granted in a civil case. Damages can be awarded in tort, contract, property and other cases and can vary widely based on the subject matter. In contract law, for example, the default damages awarded are expectation damages, which seek to put the aggrieved party in the position she would have been in had the contract been fulfilled.

Damages are typically compensatory, which means that they seek to compensate the aggrieved party for loss attributable to a wrong. In some cases, “punitive” damages are also available, which seek to punish the wrongdoer and deter future bad conduct. Nominal damages, which are token amounts such as one dollar, may also be awarded to establish fault even where there are no applicable compensatory damages. Some federal statutes also call for “treble” (or triple) damages where there been certain egregious violations.