LAW 506-002 – Contracts II

Liquidated Damages


UCC § 2-718

Liquidation or Limitation of Damages; Deposits.

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  1. Damages for breach by either party may be liquidated in the agreement but only at an amount which is reasonable in the light of the anticipated or actual harm caused by the breach, the difficulties of proof of loss, and the inconvenience or nonfeasibility of otherwise obtaining an adequate remedy. A term fixing unreasonably large liquidated damages is void as a penalty.
  2. Where the seller justifiably withholds delivery of goods because of the buyer's breach, the buyer is entitled to restitution of any amount by which the sum of his payments exceeds
    1. the amount to which the seller is entitled by virtue of terms liquidating the seller's damages in accordance with subsection (1), or
    2. in the absence of such terms, twenty per cent of the value of the total performance for which the buyer is obligated under the contract or $500, whichever is smaller.
  3. The buyer's right to restitution under subsection (2) is subject to offset to the extent that the seller establishes
    1. a right to recover damages under the provisions of this Article other than subsection (1), and
    2. the amount or value of any benefits received by the buyer directly or indirectly by reason of the contract.
  4. Where a seller has received payment in goods their reasonable value or the proceeds of their resale shall be treated as payments for the purposes of subsection (2); but if the seller has notice of the buyer's breach before reselling goods received in part performance, his resale is subject to the conditions laid down in this Article on resale by an aggrieved seller ([UCC § 2-706]).
Restatement Second of Contracts § 356

Liquidated Damages and Penalties

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  1. Damages for breach by either party may be liquidated in the agreement but only at an amount that is reasonable in the light of the anticipated or actual loss caused by the breach and the difficulties of proof of loss. A term fixing unreasonably large liquidated damages is unenforceable on grounds of public policy as a penalty.
  2. A term in a bond providing for an amount of money as a penalty for non-occurrence of the condition of the bond is unenforceable on grounds of public policy to the extent that the amount exceeds the loss caused by such non-occurrence.
Restatement Second of Contracts § 361

Effect of Provision for Liquidated Damages

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Specific performance or an injunction may be granted to enforce a duty even though there is a provision for liquidated damages for breach of that duty.