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Remedies in Tort

Remedies for torts are of two kinds: Judicial and Extra Judicial. Judicial remedies are those which are afforded by the act of law, viz.

(1) awarding of damages: (2) granting of injunction; and (3) restitution of property.

Extra-Judicial remedies are those which are available to a party in certain cases of torts by his own acts alone, viz. expulsion of a trespasser, re-entry on land, reception of goods, distress damage feasant, abatement of nuisance.

Judicial Remedies: Damages is the most important remedy which the plaintiff can avail of after the tort is committed. Damages are the pecuniary compensation which the law awards to a person for the injury he has sustained by the wrongful act of another. They are designed not only as a compensation to the injured person, but likewise as a punishment to the guilty to deter him from any such act in the future. An action for damages raises three question:

(i) was the damage caused by the defendant’s wrongful act;

(ii) was it remote and

(iii) what should be the amount of compensation.

The expression “measure of damages” means the scale or rule by reference to which the amount of damages to be revered is, in ay given case, to be assessed. Damages may arise to almost any amount, or they may dwindle down to be being merely nominal. The law has not laid down what shall be the measure of damages in actions of tort; the measure is vague and uncertain, depending upon a vast variety of causes, facts and circumstances. In case of criminal conversion, battery, imprisonment, slander, malicious prosecution, etc., the state, degree, quality, trade or profession of the party injured, as well as of the person who did the injury, must be, and generally are, considered by a jury in giving damages.

But In many cases the amount of compensation granted by court will not be exactly the same as required to replace the plaintiffs loss. The court may award the plaintiff an amount which it thinks a fair and adequate’ compensation for the plaintiff’s injury. IN such cases, it is purely compensation and not restitution. In moss v. Christchurch R D C (1925), M owned a cottage which he had let to X on weekly tenancy. It was almost completely destroyed by fire caused by a spark from the defendant’s steam roller which was held to be a nuisance. In an action by M it was held that the measure of damages was not the fair cost of rebuilding the cottage but the difference between the money value of M’s interest before and after the fire.

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