Natural and Probable Consequences

AuthorJeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps

Page 204

Those ramifications of a particular course of conduct that are reasonably foreseeable by a person of average intelligence and generally occur in the normal course of events.

The individual who is guilty of misconduct in contract or TORT is responsible for the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission that proximately causes loss or injury to the plaintiff. Based on the usual experience of human beings, if the consequences were to be expected, a plaintiff can recover damages from a defendant who caused the injuries.

Breach of Contract

Damages for breach of contractual agreement are those that result naturally from the violation of contract provisions and that are reasonably contemplated by the parties when the contract is made. Factors to be considered in determining what damages might have reasonably been considered include the nature and purpose of the contract as well as the accompanying conditions of which the parties were aware when the contract was executed. Damages that do not stem naturally from a breach of contract are not recoverable, nor are damages that are not within the reasonable contemplation of the parties. There is no requirement that the promisor compensate the injured party for harm that the promisor or any reasonable person upon making the contract would not have reason to foresee as the predictable outcome of a breach.


An individual who is guilty of committing a tort is liable for loss or injury that is the natural and probable result of his or her act or omission. It is sufficient that consequences are merely possible, since they must be reasonably foreseeable in order to serve as an adequate basis for the recovery of damages.

Prospective and Anticipated Consequences

In a situation where a CAUSE OF ACTION is complete, prospective damages reasonably certain to ACCRUE may be recovered as part of the natural and probable consequences of the defendant's action.

Breach of Contract Prospective damages are recoverable in cases involving an ANTICIPATORY REPUDIATION of contract. If the breach

Page 205

does not serve to discharge the entire contract but rather gives rise to subsequent actions, future damages must be recovered in successive actions. This type of situation might arise in an action for breach of a lease for the rental of an apartment in which the breach occurs during the fourth month of a...

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