This lesson serves as background and foundation for other lessons on damages for harms to personal property. It deals with general principles and basic measures of damages recoverable for harms to personal property. The lessons on harms to possessory interests, harms to integrity interests and harms to the interest in use and enjoyment of personal property all will delve more deeply into the intricacies of damages law in this area.
Students will first be introduced to the interests of owners of personal property that are compensated in the law of damages. Then, in problems which raise some fundamental issues, they will be presented with the basic measures of damages. Later, some alternatives to the basic measures will be briefly explored, and students will be introduced to the "Rule of Certainty" in the proof of damages. The substantive causes of action available for recovering damages for harms to personal property are ignored in this lesson.
In addition to working in this lesson, the student should also work in the lesson on General Concepts of Damages in Torts to get a basic grounding in the area of torts damages.
On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Discuss the general principles and basic measures of damages recoverable for harms to personal property.
2. Explain the three interests in personal property that the law of damages in torts seeks to protect.
3. Analyze the methods by which the trier of fact could determine the amount of money as compensation for harm.