Cause of action

The fact or combination of facts that give a person the right to seek judicial redress as a result from some wrongful act or breach that has caused a person loss or damage. The person who has a cause of action and commences proceedings is referred to as a “plaintiff”.

In order to seek a remedy, a plaintiff will have to successfully ‘plead’ the facts that satisfy the ‘elements’ of a cause of action.

The remedy is usually sought by filing and serving a statement of claim on the person or entity that has committed the alleged wrongful act. The statement of claim must be filed in a competent jurisdiction that has the ability to hear a particular claim and the person or entity must have standing to be heard.

Two of the most common causes of action are tort and contract. There are many different types of causes of action in tort, some of which include negligence, conversion, passing off and defamation. On the other hand, in contract there is only one type of cause of action, being breach of contract. This is distinct from debt as a cause of action.

Learn more about a Statement of claim