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WPI 300.01 Issues—Breach of Contract—Damages

6A WAPRAC WPI 300.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 300.01 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XIII. Contracts
Chapter 300. Contracts—Issues—Burden of Proof
WPI 300.01 Issues—Breach of Contract—Damages
The following is a summary of the claims of the parties provided to help you understand the issues in the case. You are not to take this instruction as proof of the matters claimed. It is for you to decide, based upon the evidence presented, whether a claim has been proved.
(1) The plaintiff,(name of plaintiff), claims that the defendant,(name of defendant), entered into a contract with the plaintiff [to] [for](insert general terms of alleged contract). (Name of plaintiff)claims that(name of defendant)breached this contract [by] [in one or more of the following respects:]
(Set forth in simple form without undue emphasis or repetition plaintiff's claims of breach that have not been withdrawn or stricken by the court and are supported by the evidence. Use the last bracketed phrase above if there is more than one claim of breach.)
(Name of plaintiff)also claims to have sustained damages as a result of [this] [these] breach[es] of the contract, and seek[s] a judgment against(name of defendant)for these damages.
(Name of defendant)denies [this claim] [these claims].
(2) [In addition,(name of defendant)claims as [an] affirmative defense[s]:
(Set forth in simple form without undue emphasis or repetition any affirmative defense that has not been withdrawn or stricken by the court and is supported by the evidence.)
(Name of plaintiff)denies [this claim] [these claims].]
[(3)] [(Name of defendant)further denies that(name of plaintiff)was damaged.]
[(4)] [(Name of defendant)further denies the nature and extent of the claimed damage.]
This instruction is patterned after WPI 20.01 (Issues). The instruction is adapted for a plaintiff's breach of contract action when the plaintiff is seeking damages. Use the bracketed material as applicable to the case.
Do not use this instruction if the case has contract issues, but does not involve a plaintiff's breach of contract action, or if the plaintiff is seeking a remedy other than damages. Instead, use and adapt the simplified form of WPI 300.01.01 (Issues—Contract—Alternative).
The numbers in parentheses preceding each paragraph should not be included when the instruction is given. They are used here for convenience in referring to paragraphs in this note and when instructions are being prepared for a particular case. Paragraph (1) will always be used. The pertinent bracketed paragraphs (2) through (4) should be selected according to the issues properly in the case and supported by the evidence. A particular case may require additional modifications.
This instruction and WPI 300.02 (Burden of Proof on the Issues—Breach of Contract—No Affirmative Defense) or WPI 300.03 (Burden of Proof on the Issues—Breach of Contract—With Affirmative Defenses) are designed to be used in most simple breach of contract cases. More specific instructions regarding contract formation issues, set forth in WPI Chapter 301, should be used if the jury is called upon to resolve those particular issues. Performance and breach issues are set forth in WPI Chapter 302, and damage instructions are set forth in WPI Chapter 303.
Use WPI 6.10.02 (Use of Admissions or Binding Stipulations Under CR 36(b)) when reference to admissions is appropriate.
These instructions are designed for use in non-Uniform Commercial Code cases. For Uniform Commercial Code cases, see RCW Title 62A, and particularly the Washington Comments set forth in the RCW Annotated. For employment contract issues, see WPI Part XVI (Employment). For consumer protection issues, see WPI Part XIV (Consumer Protection).
Generally, a plaintiff in a contract action must prove a valid contract between the parties, a breach, and resulting damage. Lehrer v. State, Dep't of Soc. & Health Servs., 101 Wn.App. 509, 516, 5 P.3d 722 (2000); Nw. Indep. Forest Mfrs. v. Dep't of Lab. & Indus., 78 Wn.App. 707, 712, 899 P.2d 6 (1995).
For a discussion of actual damages versus nominal damages, see the Comment to WPI 303.01 (Measure of Expectation Damages—Breach of Contract—No Counterclaim).
For comprehensive discussions of non-U.C.C. contract issues in Washington courts, see DeWolf, Allen, & Caruso, 25 Washington Practice, Contract Law and Practice (3d ed.).
See the Comment to WPI 20.01 (Issues).
[Current as of April 2021.]
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