Last edited 21 Feb 2018

Remoteness

In law, the term ‘remoteness’ refers to the test of causation which is used to determine the type of loss caused by a breach of contract.

A claim for damages can only succeed if the damage is not too remote. Damage which is too remote is not recoverable, even if there is there is clear causation between the breach of contract and the loss.

If, at the time the contract was entered into, the parties ought reasonably to have been able to foresee that the loss would be likely to occur, then the damage is not too remote.

In contract, the test for remoteness was described in the case of Hadley v Baxendale [1854] and falls into two parts – firstly, the knowledge of what happens ‘in the ordinary course of things’; and secondly, actual knowledge of special or unusual circumstances outside the ‘ordinary course of things’. For more information, see Hadley v Baxendale.

In tort, the test is whether the kind of damage incurred was reasonably foreseeable at the time on the part of the defendant.

For more information, see Heron II.

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