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Claimant Increasing Claim Amount - What are your thoughts?

Under what circumstances should the Arbitrator/Tribunal permit a claimant to increase its claimed amount of monetary damages to conform with the evidence adduced at the hearing?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

Comments (5)

This is not as unusual a circumstance as it may seem. Evidence is the sine qua non of proof. If the evidence produces a higher amount of damages than that claimed by plaintiff - perhaps because of expert witness testimony, perhaps due to mathematical error or simple approximation - amendment should be allowed to achieve a just result. CAVEAT: Respondent must be given every opportunity to analyze, respond to, and rebut the evidence adducing higher damages than originally claimed.
Judith Meyer

Michael Orfield:

I imagine it depends upon how formal were the disclosure requirements leading up to the EH. There is the initial claim that gets the ball rolling, and a sum set out in the claim. How binding is that amount in the claim when evidence comes out during development of the case that more is at stake. How binding is that amount if nothing more is mentioned about it and an increased amount is first brought up at the EH. There seems to be a tug of war between our wanting to limit/eliminate formal discovery and a party's right to know what it is facing and proceed accordingly toward settlement or hearing. A party may have prepared significantly differently if the amended amount of damages had been known pre-hearing. Is there real prejudice to the accused that could not have been avoided with a professional lead up to the EH, or is the amount of damages something that the accused should have been able to deduce pre-hearing?

It depends on the particular agreement, arbitral rules, and where applicable, the terms of reference. Generally, the tribunal should try to reach the correct result and avoid unfair prejudice to either side.

Lawrence W Crispo:

Does American Arbitration Association have a stake in the issue in that they they base administrative fees on the amount of the claim?
Mike – the accused? Larry

David Andrew Byrne:

This is not uncommon. Many times the parties' case comes to arbitration from a pending litigation case in court where the complaint does not request a specific amount, rather it pleads for "damages and other available relief." When the case comes to arbitration, the Respondent has the opportunity to discover the underlying facts that support any damage amount, so its not an issue. Any award of damages is always based on the proof anyway.

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