Damages Element as a Defendant
The plaintiff must convince the judge that your breach (failure to perform) of the agreement caused them damages (financial loss) in the amount requested. They must also prove why the amount being requested is the right amount. The performance and breach elements are very much related to the damages element because:
- If the plaintiff did less than what they originally agreed to, then you owe them less than what they claim.
- If you did not breach the agreement then you owe nothing.
No damages owed
You may owe no damages if (1) an agreement does not exist; (2) they did not perform at all, or (3) you did not breach the agreement (you did what you promised you would do).
Damages owed less than Plaintiff claims
You may owe the plaintiff less than they claim if (1) they performed less than they claim, (2) you performed more than they claim, or (3) they are claiming damages that were not originally agreed on.
Even if the Plaintiff argues you owe the money, you may show that you owe less or nothing by proving an affirmative defense, which is a defense that you as the defendant can bring up that would negate any liability from you.
Note that different affirmative defenses will apply depending on where the dispute happened (state and local laws) and what claim type you have (a loan dispute will have a different set of affirmative defenses than a rental dispute).
Daños y perjuicios (Demandado)
- Si el demandante hizo menos de lo que originalmente acordó, entonces usted le debe menos de lo que afirma.
- Si no incumplió el acuerdo, entonces no debe nada.