previous next


A Latin term which signifies loss or injury of any kind; but in its particular sense means loss or injury which a person has sustained in his property. Damnum in this particular sense may include loss of gain which a person is prevented from realizing (lúcrum cessans), as well as loss of actually acquired property (damnum emergens). The causes of damnum are either chance, accident (casus), or acts or omissions of reasonable human beings for which they are held to be responsible. As a rule no liability arises out of loss or injury to property caused by accident. Dolus malus or culpa—i. e. wilful or negligent misconduct on the part of the person committing damnum—is, as a rule, necessary in order to constitute liability; but in exceptional cases a person may be liable, although neither dolus malus nor culpa can be imputed to him. A wrongful act by which damnum is caused may be either an independent delict, or the breach of some special duty to which a person has become subject as a breach of contract. The liability to make good a loss which another has suffered is praestare damnum. A person liable for damages is, as a rule, bound to put the injured party in the same position as he would have been in if the act by which the damage was done had not been committed. He may also be subject to a penalty.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: