Condition for Compensation from Damages
Compensation is considered a means of restoration for an injured party. It may be monetary or an equivalent consideration for the loss suffered by the injured party, or opportunities missed as a result of the harmful act. Concurrently, it is a general penalty resulting from the establishment of civil liability, hence it is a means for the judiciary to mitigate the impact of the damage in question.
Although the purpose of ‘penalties’ in civil liability is to repair the damage which has occurred, and returns the injured person to their standing prior to the occurrence of the harmful act, the entitlement of ‘compensation’ shall revolve around the damage and its availability as a remedial act, without taking into account the gravity of act itself. Instead, a claim should be focused on quantifying the exact damage caused without increasing or detracting from it.
The injured party shall be entitled to compensation for all the damages it has suffered from the defaulting party, regardless of whether the claim is for material (monetary) damages, or moral damages such as psychological harm. To be entitled to compensation, the three pillars of tort liability must be fulfilled, as follows:
- Proven Default – meaning an omission of an agreed-upon responsibility that causes damage.
- Actual Damage – meaning a violation of a human right or a legitimate interest, which causes damage, regardless of whether this is direct/indirect, past or in the future, expected or unexpected. The consideration shall be upon the actual achievement of such damage, not the possibility of achieving it.
- Causal relationship – meaning that the damage is an inevitable result of the harmful act committed. The occurrence of the harmful act alone is insufficient to entitle compensation, but rather damage must be a result of this act.
Moreover, the amount of compensation does not have to be specified by an agreement or legal articles to be entitled, as the compensation is ultimately dependent on the judge’s discretionary authority in order to derive the fulfillment of the above pillars which leads to liability, damage and the causal relationship between the two, as interpreted by the wider context of the case without supervision by the Court of Cassation.
The pre-discretionary authority in estimating the amount of compensation is restricted by the condition that the compensation is based on justifiable grounds, and resulting from proven elements and reasons which balance the basis of compensation, with the reason for imposing it.
Herein we refer to one of the cases initiated by our office, where Maher Milad Iskander, the attorney acting on behalf of the fiancé, filed a lawsuit against his fiancée, arguing that she is the reason behind the dissolution of the engagement resulting in moral and material damages as a result of the fiancée’s action. These damages were requested on the basis of the expenses and costs of the engagement ceremony, and the psychological pain suffered by the fiancé in attempts to salvage their relationship.
The court ruled in favor of the fiancé, obligating the fiancée to reimburse the expenses paid for the ceremony, and pay additional compensation to the fiancé.
The court, after examining the circumstances of the case, was able to identify the pillars stated above and therefore establish responsibility. Further, it was shown that the fiancé neither committed fraudulent nor damaging acts, but rather the fiancée was the one who caused the dissolution of the engagement.
Since any damage causing harm to third parties obligates the perpetrator to compensate the injured party, and the determination of compensation is subject to the discretionary authority of the relevant judge.
Finally, the court rendered its ruling, obligating the fiancée to pay the expenses in question, in addition to the attorney’s expenses since she lost the lawsuit.
Link to case
To conclude, this article aims to highlight that the assessment of damage and the determination of compensation is subject to the discretionary authority of the relevant judge.
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