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Be certain of your damages numbers; don’t just guess!

Posted in Delaware Superior Court, Evidence

In a matter of first impression in Delaware, the Superior Court in Villare v. Beebe Medical Center Inc., C.A. No. 08C-10-189-JRJ (Jurden, J., March 19, 2014) held that: (1) a medical center’s policy/bylaws regarding appointment to a medical staff position (“Appointment Policy” or “Bylaws”) does not constitute an enforceable contract; and (2) even if such a policy did constitute an enforceable contract, the Plaintiff here—Dr. Villare—was unable to prove damages because he lacked a sufficient evidentiary basis for making a fair and reasonable estimate of damages.  Thus, the Court granted defendant Beebe Medical Center’s motion for summary judgment on Dr. Villare’s breach of contract claim.  The full opinion can be read here.

Significantly, this case reinforces that, at the summary judgment stage, a plaintiff seeking to prove breach of contract must proffer more than mere “guesstimates.”  The plaintiff must have competent evidence of damages.