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Damages Awards Should Not Give The Claimant The Benefit Of Better Bargain
Last month the High Court held that where a contract allows a defendant alternative modes of performance, defendants are entitled to the assumption that they would have only performed the minimum obligation required of them.
The contract in this case allowed the defendant to perform the contract in different ways, and included the right to terminate the contract subject to paying certain sums to the claimant. The court held that it had to be assumed that if it was not for the claimant’s termination of the contract (in response to a repudiatory breach) the defendant would have exercised its own right to terminate.
Whilst this is not an employment case, it is a useful authority, particularly in constructive dismissal cases where employees terminate their contract, allegedly in response to repudiatory breaches by businesses.
The case is Comau v Lotus Lightweight Structures Ltd (unreported), Commercial Court, 27 June 2014 Mr Robin Knowles CBE QC sitting as Deputy High Court Judge.