Rethinking the Law of Contract Damages
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Rethinking the Law of Contract Damages

Victor P. Goldberg

In this series of chapters on contract damages issues, Victor P. Goldberg provides a framework for analyzing the problems that arise when determining damages, and applies it to case law in both the USA and the UK.
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Chapter 6: The middlemans damages revisited

Victor P. Goldberg

Abstract

If A promises to sell to B who, in turn, promises to sell to C and either A or C breaches should B receive the gain it expected had both transactions occurred (lost profits) or the larger market/contract differential? Recent case law and commentary argues for the lost profit remedy. The argument is that there is a conflict between awarding market damages and making the nonbreacher whole. This chapter argues that there is no conflict. If B were a broker, and C breached, then A would have an action against C for market damages. If B were party to the two related contracts A should also be liable for market damages. By being a party to the two contracts, B has taken on counterparty risk. This chapter provides a detailed critique of the case law.

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