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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It Is Not Necessary To Show Damages To Make A Prima Facie Claim For Breach Of Contract

by Gary Beaver

On March 1, 2011, in Hodges v. Young, the N.C. Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's order granting defendants' summary judgment motion asserting plaintiff failed to prove any damages based on an alleged breach of contract.  The court pointed out that there are only two elements of a breach of contract:  the existence of a valid contract and a breach of the contract's terms.  No damages are required to be shown.  The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment on plaintiff's Chapter 75 claims which tried to assert fraudulent acts based on "should have known" allegations.  We all see these efforts by creative pleaders to manufacture a Chapter 75 claim out of a breach of contract claim so this case may be one to keep in the drawer as an example of Chapter 75 allegations that are too thin.

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