Plaintiffs can pursue expectation, restitutionary, general, special, and reliance damages when signatories to a contract fail to fulfill their contractual obligations. In Nevada, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant breached the contract and that the breach caused the plaintiff harm. Depending on the types of damages, the court may use the market value measure or cost expectancy measure to determine the final damage award.
Breach of Contract in Nevada
In Nevada, there are four (4) essential elements required to establish a breach of contract claim. The essential elements of a claim for breach of contract are:
1. The existence of an enforceable agreement between the parties;
2. Plaintiff’s performance (or ability to perform);
3. Defendant’s unjustified or unexcused failure to perform; and
4. Damages resulting from the unjustified or unexcused failure to perform.
Damage Awards in Nevada
Plaintiffs in Nevada breach of contract claims can pursue the following types of damages from the defendant(s):
- Expectation Damages – The court can award the plaintiff the financial difference between the value of the benefits received and the reasonable expected value had the defendant fulfilled their obligations.
- Restitutionary Damages – Restitutionary damages seek to restore to the plaintiff the value of goods or services provided to the defendant. These are calculated at fair market value of any goods or services delivered. The purpose of restitutionary damages is to restore the injured party to the same position they were in prior to the contract, i.e. to make the injured party whole.
- General Damages – General damages are the present value of the service/product promised to the plaintiff. This can include loss of profit, loss of property value, etc. These damages are awarded when the defendant’s breach caused a direct loss for the plaintiff.
- Special/Consequential Damages – These damages are not determined based on the value of the contract, but rather the benefits completion of the contract would have produced.
- Reliance Damages – Reliance damages are intended to reimburse the plaintiff monetary and other expenses they incurred in preparation to perform the contract. These include any expenses for the purchase of goods or services in the expectation that these goods and services would be used to satisfy the terms of the contract.