Commercial Division Blog
Court Erred in Awarding Damages That Were Not Proved or Requested
On October 8, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in Pastreich v. Pastreich, 2019 NY Slip Op. 07215, holding that the trial court erred in awarding damages that were not proved or requested, explaining:
Further, as to the imposition of liability on Yitzhak, we decline to disturb that finding in light of the deference due to the court's ability to see and hear the witnesses . However, the fact that liability can be imposed on Yitzhak does not mean that he must pay all the amounts listed in the judgment. First, he does not have to pay Lisa $100,000, because there was no evidence that she had incurred that amount in legal fees and because of the American Rule. Second, since Mark did not request punitive damages, the court should not have awarded them. Third, since both sides agreed that Yitzhak had taken only $330,873 — not $1.4 million — from the Trusts, he must repay only that amount.
(Internal citations omitted) (emphasis added).
A key element in commercial litigation is proving damages. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or a client have questions regarding proving damages.