Chicago Coliseum Club v. Dempsey

Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, 1932.

265 Ill.App. 542.

Dawson, pp. 89-95


Facts: The plaintiff and defendant made a contract to put on a boxing match.  The defendant repudiated, having made a contract to fight someone else at the same time.  The plaintiff sued for an injunction in Indiana to keep him from training or taking part in the fight.  The plaintiff subsequently sued in Cook County, Illinois for various damages, including damages from loss of profits, expenses incurred prior to the contract signing, the costs of the action in Indiana, and expenses incurred between the signing of the contract and the date of the breach.


Issue: To which damages is the plaintiff entitled?


Rule: When expectation damages are improper or insufficient, reliance and restitution damages may be substituted in certain cases.


Analysis: The court advocates a reliance measure of damages for the plaintiff, arguing that lost profits are too uncertain, expenses incurred before the signing of the contract were speculative, and the costs of the attempted injunction against Dempsey were incurred at the plaintiff’s own risk.


Conclusion: The court reversed and remanded the ruling of the trial court and ordered a new trial.


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