Economic damages, unlike non-economic damages (such as those in personal injury disputes), need to rest on a reasonable basis. Economic damages are those routinely seen in a construction dispute. These damages cannot be based on conjecture or guesswork and need to be supported by competent substantial evidence. Otherwise, the economic damages will be deemed too speculative because they are not reasonably quantifiable. I recently discussed a case involving the professional boxer Canelo Alvarez that was sued by a former promoter for unjust enrichment. Although the promoter recovered a jury verdict for unjust enrichment damages against Canelo Alvarez, the verdict was reversed because the methodology utilized by the promoter to demonstrate damages was speculative. This is definitely not what a plaintiff wants to happen after prevailing at the trial level!
Parties are generally involved in civil disputes because of damages. Without damages, there is no lawsuit. Thus, a party’s damages, and the methodology used to calculate the damages, is critical. While economic damages do not need to be demonstrated with mathematical precision, they do need to be supported by competent substantial evidence, i.e., they need to be based on a reasonable degree of certainty.
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