The False Hope of Lost Profits Damages

Posted on October 1st, 2013

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. recently published an article in the September 27, 2013 issue of the New York Law Journal entitled “The False Hope of Lost Profits.”  Lost profits damages are frequently sought by clients who have suffered a business interruption due to another’s negligence or contractual breach.  However, Courts often are reluctant to award such damages finding they are speculative and “icing” — they do not make the prospective plaintiff whole, but instead permit a surplus recovery in addition to compensatory or consequential damages.  For these reasons, Courts have restricted lost profits damages requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate their loss with “reasonable certainty” and ensuring such losses are not recoverable under other theories or in other ways.

This article is intended to guide the practitioner through the pitfalls of lost profits damages and ensure the focus is on recovery, regardless of how it is characterized.  As an initial matter, cases addressing lost profits distinguish between damages resulting from tortious conduct and those arising from a breach of contract.  Although in both situations a plaintiff has the burden of proving lost profits with reasonable certainty, the underlying causes of action recommend separate treatment.

For full article click here.

Reprinted with permission from the September 27, 2013 edition of the “New York Law Journal.”  © 2013 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved.  Further duplication without permission is prohibited. ALMReprints.com – 877-257-3382 – reprints@alm.com.