CONTRACT – DAMAGES – Action for breach of contract – Need to plead and prove actual loss to avoid nominal damages – Exceptions thereto:

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That statement of the law is better understood when it is remembered that in an action for breach of contract, as this is, damages are not at large and a plaintiff must always plead and prove his actual loss otherwise he is entitled to nominal damages only. Two exceptions to this general rule are known. One is an action for breach of promise to marry and the other where a trader who is in funds at his bank has cheque dishonoured wrongfully. Lord Atkinson in Addis Vs. Gramophone Co. Ltd. (1909) A.C. 488 at 495 has said that these exceptions ought not to be extended. Taylor C.J. in OYEWOLE v STANDARD BANK OF WEST AFRICA LIMITED (1968) 2 All N. L. R. 32 at 35 felt unable to extend the exception to include persons other than a trader and I must refuse to so extend in this case. Mr. Osipitan, learned counsel for the Plaintiff, invited me to equate a solicitor issuing a cheque in the course of his practice to a trader but I regret that I must decline that invitation. . .”. This appeal is from the said judgement of which the passages set out above in quotation form part. Per IDIGBE, J.S.C. HIRAT ADERISOLA BALOGUN V. NATIONAL BANK NIG LTD (1978-LCER-1729-SC) at P. 5, Para. D.

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CONTRACT – DAMAGES – Action for breach of contract – Need to plead and prove actual loss to avoid nominal damages – Exceptions thereto

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