How To Establish Damages and Quantify Risk
San Diego business litigation and disputes are about damages – how much money is at the core of the issue? In business litigation such as breach of contract or shareholder disputes it is not possible to “force” performance on the contract. This is known legally as “specific performance” and that remedy is limited mainly to real estate litigation. San Diego courts are looking to establish the facts of a business dispute, and determine the associated damages. Damages translates to money.
What are damages? Generally speaking, in breach of contract cases damages represent the amount of money that it will take for the plaintiff to receive the “benefit of the bargain”. If the defendant is not able to perform on the contract as promised, the plaintiff must go out and find other alternatives to achieve the expected contractual outcome, legally termed the “benefit of the bargain.” What is the difference in cost between the contracted amount, and the actual price that was paid to research the issue, find another supplier and essentially fulfill the terms of the original agreement?
Was there lost opportunity cost? Did the plaintiff miss a deadline of their own, or miss out on the opportunity to profit due to the time that was lost along the way? What additional expenses did the plaintiff incur as a result of the breach of contract? All of these factors must be taken into account when determining damages.
Damages in Disagreements Between Shareholders or Members Come Down to the Loss (or Profit) of Another’s Actions
A large portion of business litigation involves money issues between fellow business owners – other members in the LLC or shareholders in the corporation. The plaintiff must demonstrate the amount of profit (money) they lost as a result of the defendants actions, or document how much profit the defendant attempted to shield or divert from the LLC or corporation. The integrity of the underlying shareholder agreement or operating agreement and the detail associated with the definition of expenses, costs, practices, pricing, and overhead are common gray areas where disagreements about “profit” (money) arise. How are profits to be allocated? Did one of the parties attempt to misconstrue the calculation of “profit” in order to increase their share of the distributions? Has one of the majority owners commingled funds or assets with their personal accounts? These cases can become quite legally complex and in the end it all comes down to the damages. What does the court, mediator or arbitrator establish as the monetary value of the actions of the parties in the case?
Contact Experienced Breach of Contract and Business Litigation Attorneys Who Understand the Nature of Damages
The lawyers at the Watkins Firm have decades of experience serving the San Diego business community. We have extensive experience in these types of disputes and litigation, as well as how to resolve them. Damages play a central role in any San Diego business litigation or contract dispute, and we aggressively protect our client’s interests throughout the negotiation, mediation and when necessary litigation process. Contact us, or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary and thorough consultation. We will review your position in the dispute, the underlying facts of the case and determine strategies to achieve your goals and budgets for each step you decide to take. We will keep our eye on the damages – your money – and work to protect your interests and your money.