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Bausch & Lomb v. Bressler - 977 F.2d 720

Rule:

A plaintiff seeking damages for breach of contract may not recover for loss beyond an amount that the evidence permits to be established with reasonable certainty. Plaintiff thus must demonstrate that the damages were caused by and are directly traceable to defendant's breach.

Facts:

Plaintiff optical company filed an action for breach of contract against defendant manufacturer. The plaintiff claimed that defendant breached a contract whereby the company agreed to purchase and distribute the manufacturer's ophthalmic diagnostic instruments. The district court found that the manufacturer had terminated the contract in violation of the contract terms. Defendant appealed.

Issue:

Does the defendant commit material breach by terminating the contract upon two days' notice instead of the 30-day notice period provision in their agreement?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court held that the manufacturer committed a material breach by terminating the contract upon two days' notice in contravention of a 30-day notice period and by refusing to accept the company's timely withdrawal of an alleged repudiation. The court rejected the manufacturer's argument that its two-day ultimatum was commercially reasonable because of an upcoming meeting of ophthalmologists that was critical to the sales of its products.

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