Q&As

Can wasted time be claimed as damages?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/12/2013

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can wasted time be claimed as damages?
  • What evidence will I need to provide?
  • How are claims for damages for wasted time quantified?

Can wasted time be claimed as damages?

When dealing with a claim for financial loss, a party may claim damages for wasted staff time if those staff have been diverted from their usual activities to undertake work to deal with the consequences of a breach of contract (AEW Architects). Note, however, there may be circumstances where the additional work necessitated by a breach of contract is sufficiently limited in extent that the company cannot sensibly be regarded as having suffered a loss because the employee in question had to do it or where the employee(s) were so underemployed that the company did not suffer any loss simply because they had to work a bit more (this was considered in Balmoral Group).

Where an innocent claimant establishes its cause of action, it can recover any management time reasonably spent dealing with the consequences of the breach (AEW Architects).

What evidence will I need to provide?

The authorities were reviewed by the Court of Appeal in Aerospace Publishing, which outlines the general propositions relating to claims for wasted time. A party must:

  1. establish the fact that staff time was diverted

  2. set out the extent of the time diverted

  3. provide evidence to show the extent of the time diverted

  4. provide evidence that the diversion of staff time caused significant disruption to the claimant's business

Generally, if the above are shown, it will

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