Damages For Breach of Trust

Damages in Equity for Breach of Trust

Huff v Price 1990 (BCCA) 51 BCLR 282 held that the amount of damages in equity  in an action for breach of trust will be equal to the highest price at which the property of which that person was deprived could have been sold in the period before the breach of duty was discovered.

It is no defence, where there has been a breach of trust for the defendant to argue that there would have been a loss that would have occurred in any event, notwithstanding the breach of trust.

Island Realty Investments ltd v Douglas (1985) 56 ETR dismissed an unfaithful trustees argument that a loss in the real estate market would have occurred in any event, despite his breach of trust. The court distinguished the amount of damages that may have followed as a result of a breach of contract and held that in actions for breach of trust, the measure of damages must be the highest price that the property attained during the period of the breach of trust.

These passages of law have been approved by the Supreme Court of Canada in Guerin v. The Queen (1984) 2 SCR 335 that stated ” just as it is to be presumed that a beneficiary would have wished to sell his securities at the highest price available during the period they were wrongfully withheld from him by the trustee, so also it should be presumed that the band would’ve wished to develop its land in the most advantageous way possible. During the period covered by the unauthorized lease.

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