Kemble v. Farren

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Kemble v. Farren
Court Court of Common Pleas
Citation 6 Bing. 141
130 Eng. Rep. 1234 [1829]
Date decided 1829

Facts

The plaintiff was a Theatre, and the defendant an actor who contracted to present a comedy show at the theatre. The contract supplied that in the event of a breach by either party, liquidated damages of 1000 pounds would be due to the other party. The actor breached the contract by refusing to act in the second season of his comedy show.


Procedural History

Judgment for the theatre in the amount of 750 pounds, to which they complain that they are owed 1000 pounds by the terms of the contract.


Issues

Whether liquidated damages can apply to breaches that would otherwise have damages of a certain amount.


Holding/Decision

Judgment affirmed.


Rules

Liquidated damages should refer to terms which are breached that have an uncertain nature and amount. However, when a breach is made that can be assessed by the amount of damages, a large amount of liquidated damages is considered a penalty which is unenforceable.