Nominal damages

A token sum of damages, awarded when the court or tribunal is of the opinion that the plaintiff has not suffered any substantial loss although a legal right has been infringed. Nominal damages are often as little as $1 or $2. Nominal damages are symbolic, and although practically insignificant, serve as a legal acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

Nominal damages may be sought or awarded in cases where the plaintiff is seeking:

  • Vindication/recognition
  • Furtherance of a social, political or moral cause
  • To establish a precedent