What Damages Can I Recover in a Business Lawsuit?

One of the most common types of business lawsuits is for a breach of contract. The breaching party typically is liable to the other party for damages incurred as a result of the breach. The damages the non-breaching party is entitled to depends on the type of breach and the terms of the agreement between the parties. Below are a few of the potential damages that may be recoverable in a lawsuit for breach of contract:

Compensatory Damages

Compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the breach of contract is the most common type of damage awarded by the court. Compensatory damages compensate the non-breaching party for their losses. Generally, the amount of money awarded is equal to the monetary loss incurred by the non-breaching party.


Restitution damages are awarded to restore the non-breaching party to the same position they were in prior to the breach occurring. However, restitution is different from compensatory damages because it does not include lost wages or profits resulting from the breach.

Liquidated Damages

If the contract includes a provision for liquidated damages, the provision typically provides a calculation or other method for predetermining the amount of damages that should be awarded if either party breaches the contract. It is common for the breaching party to challenge the enforceability of a liquidated damages provision.

Nominal Damages

If it is proven that a breach of the contract occurred, but the non-breaching party did not suffer a financial loss as a result, the court may award nominal, or a very small amount of, damages.

Quantum Meruit

If the contract fails to specify how much a service is worth, the court can determine the value of the service and compensate the party for the work it has completed.

Remedies in Equity

In certain instances, monetary damages are not enough, and an equitable remedy must be awarded. In these cases, the court has the power to order a party to do (or refrain from doing) something.

Punitive Damages

Although punitive damages are not commonly awarded in a breach of contract case, they may be available if there are other claims associated to the breach of contract claim. The purpose of punitive damages is to deter the breaching party (and other similar parties) from repeating the same wrongdoing.

If your business is being sued or is seeking to file a lawsuit against another party, contact Mailly Law. We are experienced in a wide variety of business litigation matters and we stand ready to fight for you.