Part Two Compensation, s.One General Principles in Assessing Compensatory Damages, 3 Introduction to compensatory damages
Andrew Burrows QC FBA
- Breach of contract — Types of damages — Types of loss and damages
This chapter provides an introduction to compensatory damages by considering the different types of loss, the compensatory aims, and the theoretical underpinnings of compensation. It goes on to examine the thesis that the primary function of damages is not compensation but is rather to value the right infringed. It also considers the controversial view that a standard measure of damages is a non-compensatory cost of cure. Compensation is defined as the award of a sum of money which is equivalent to the claimant’s loss. The loss may be pecuniary (that is, a loss of wealth) where the equivalence to the claimant’s loss can be precise; or non-pecuniary (for example, pain, suffering and loss of amenity; loss of reputation; and mental distress generally). The remedy concerned to achieve compensation for torts and breach of contract is compensatory damages (that is, damages concerned to compensate).