Expectation Damages Law & Legal Definition


Expectation damages are those damages which a plaintiff sustains not based on the injury but because of the loss of some future, possibly speculative, stream of income. They are composed of incidental damages and consequential damages.

Expectation damages are awarded to a party harmed by breach of a contract, provided that those damages can be calculated with reasonable certainty. Expert testimony, if well supported and thorough, is an acceptable way of determining expectation damages. To the extent that the calculation of expectation damages remains somewhat uncertain, doubts are resolved in favor of the nonbreaching party. Still, the burden of proof remains at all times on the plaintiff. [Cort Furniture Rental Corp. v. Cafritz, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3929 (D.D.C. Apr. 2, 1992)]