If your business has been hurt by the wrongful conduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation – in legal terms, “damages” – for the financial losses you suffered as a result of that conduct. The type and amount of damages to which you may be entitled will depend on the legal claims at issue and the nature of your business. Our experienced New York commercial litigation attorneys
can help you assess whether have case and explain how your damages may be calculated.
First, establish your business has been damaged.
In order to prevail in a commercial lawsuit, you must establish wrongful conduct on the part of the opposing party and that this conduct caused your business to suffer financial losses or other harm. By way of example, let’s assume you have a contract to purchase springs from a supplier, with shipments delivered to your factory monthly. Your supplier backs out of the contract after just two months. If it takes you two months to find a replacement supplier, and that supplier charges you ten cents more per spring, then your business has been harmed by the supplier’s breach of the contract. Your losses include the extra amount you have to pay the new supplier, as well as the income lost when your factory sat idle for two months. If, however, you are able to find a new supplier of springs, with no interruption in delivery and at no increased cost, then you have suffered no damages as a result of the supplier’s wrongful conduct.
Second, establish the extent of your damages.
Assuming you can establish wrongdoing by the other party and the fact that your business has been harmed by that wrongdoing, you then must establish the extent of your damages.
The purpose of awarding damages in a commercial litigation case is to put the injured party in the position it would have been in had the other party fulfilled its obligations and acted within the bounds of the law. Depending on the facts of your case, your damages may include compensation for:
- Lost income. This typically is determined by the value of past lost profits, as well as future lost profits.
- Loss of, or damage to, business assets. If the asset produced a revenue stream, then your damages will be determined by your lost revenue; if not, then your damages likely would be determined by the market value of the asset or what it costs to replace it.
- Loss of, or damage to, a business venture. Here, your damages will be measured according to the worth of the lost enterprise, or the difference in value of the business interest before and after the wrongful conduct.
In certain types of commercial cases, other damages may be available. For example, in a case involving breach of a contract, you may be entitled to “liquidated” damages – a sum of money agreed upon by the parties at the time of entering the agreement – or attorney’s fees, if the agreement provides for these remedies. In other cases (e.g., cases involving claims of fraud or intentional, malicious wrongdoing), you may be entitled to an award of “punitive” damages. This is a sum of money awarded to the prevailing party for the purpose of punishing the wrongdoer and deterring similar conduct in the future.
Contact the Experienced New York Commercial Litigation Attorneys at Hiller, PC
Proving and valuing damages in a dispute involving a business is seldom easy. Even a “simple” breach of contract case can result in complicated business valuations and calculations of income streams, projected earnings and potential lost opportunities. If your business has suffered financial losses as a result of the wrongful conduct of another party, or if you have been accused of wrongdoing in the context of a business transaction, contact our experienced New York commercial litigation attorneys. We handle all phases of a commercial case, from inception through trial, and our winning record is second to none. Our New York commercial litigation attorneys are knowledgeable in a variety of industries and businesses; we represent corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts, sole proprietorships, and individuals. Let us assess your situation and explain your legal options. Call us, at 212-319-4000, or use the form on this page to contact us by email.