speculative damages

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Possible financial loss or expenses claimed by a plaintiff that are contingent upon a future occurrence, purely conjectural, or highly improbable, are known as speculative damages. Courts generally do not award these damages. For example, in Chicago Coliseum Club v. Dempsey, the Appellate Court of Illinois denied plaintiff’s sought damages because they were too speculative. In that case, the Chicago Coliseum Club contracted with Jack Dempsey to fight a boxing match around six months later. A few months after signing the contract, Dempsey informed the Club that he intended to breach his contract and would not fight the planned boxing match. The Club sued and sought, among other damages, lost profits from possible ticket sales from the match. The Court ruled that the Club could not recover lost profits from future ticket sales because there was no way to ascertain what the attendance may have been had the fight occurred.  

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team