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Injuria sine Damnum


By Avantika Goel - 25/12/2016

This maxim ‘ Injuria sine Damnum ‘ is just opposite to the maxim ‘ damnum sine
injuria’ .

The word ‘ damnum ‘ means damage . This damage may be loss of health , loss of service ,
physical hurt and loss of money or the like . The word ‘ injuria’ means a legal injury or
tortuous act or an infringement of legal right . And the word ‘sine ‘means without . So the
maxim means that an infringement of any legal right without damage. Where there is
infringement of legal right , action lies against that act . Therefore ,if any legal right is
infringed , it is immaterial whether any loss is suatained or not , this maxim ‘injuria sine
damnum ‘affords right to sue for legal remedy .

According to this maxim whenever there is an invasion of a legal right , the person in whom
the right is vested , is entitled to bring an action though he has suffered no actual harm and
may recover damages . It is sufficient to show that there is violation of a legal right and the
law will presume damage . On the strength of this maxim the libel , assault , battery , false

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imprisonment and trespass on land or the mere wrongful acts are actionable without proof of
special damage .

In India , the same principles have been followed . It is not necessary to show any damage if
the legal right is infringed . Violation of a legal right gives rise to a legal action .

As for example , in an interesting American case of Morningstar Vs. Fafayette Hotel


Company, the plaintiff , who was a guest at the defendant’s hotel , was fed up with the food
served at the hotel , and so , he purchased some spare ribs outside the hotel , and gave them
to the hotel chef to be cooked and brought to his room . This was done . But the spare ribs
were accompanied by a bill for one dollar which the plaintiff refused to pay . On the following
morning , the plaintiff was publicly informed at the table of breakfast that he would not be
served . The plaintiff sued for wrongful refusal to serve breakfast to him and the Court held
that his legal right had been infringed .

In the famous leading case of Ashbay Vs. White , the defendant , a returning officer at a
voting booth , wrongfully refused to register a duly tendered vote of the plaintiff , who was a
qualified voter . The candidate for whom the vote was sought to be tendered was elected. So
no loss was suffered by the plaintiff for rejection of his vote . The Court held that violation of
the plaintiff’s right was an injury to him for which he must have a remedy without proof of
actual damage .

In another interesting case of Marzetti Vs. Williams , a Banker having sufficient funds in his
hands belonging to a customer refused to honour his cheque .The customer sustained no
actual loss or damage . The Court held that the customer’s legal right was infringed and was
entitled to damages .

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