This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The question of the date to which damages are to be computed is often material. If the breach sued for is such as to discharge the entire contract, all damages caused by such breach, including those which will arise with reasonable certainty after the trial, must be recovered in that action.1 There is some authority for a contrary view.2 If the party in default voluntarily sues for less than the amount to which he is entitled, a judgment for such less amount will bar further recovery. On the other hand, the breach may be such as to give rise to an action for damages, but to leave the contract valid and subsisting. Damages can be recovered, according to some authorities, down to the date of the writ, or the time of the commencement of the action.3 According to other authorities damages may be recovered in such cases down to the time of trial.4 Whichever theory applies, however, damages can not be recovered for future possible breaches if the contract is still subsisting. At any rate, where suit has been brought for breach of a contract of employment, and while suit is brought before the term has ended, it is not tried till after the term has ended, full damages may be allowed.5
14 Parsons v. Sutton, 66 N. Y. 92.
1 Roehm v. Horst, 178 U. S. 1; Shoemaker v. Acker, 116 Cal. 239; 48 Pae. 62; Standard Oil Co. v. Denton (Ky.), 70 S. W. 282; Drum-mond v. Crane, 159 Mass. 577; 38 Am. St. Rep. 460; 23 L. R. A. 707; 65 N. E. 90; Conlon v. McGraw, 66 Mich. 194; 33 N. W. 388; Rath-hone, etc., Co. v. Wheelihan, 82 Minn. 30; 84 N. W. 638; James v. Allen County, 44 O. S. 226; 58 Am. Rep. 821; 6 N. E. 246; Remelee v.
Hall. 31 Vt. 582; 76 Am. Dec. 140; Rhoades v. Ry., 49 W. Va. 494; 87 Am. St. Rep. 826; 55 L. R. A 170; 39 S. E. 209.
2 Contract of employment. Harris v. Moss. 112 Ga. 95; 37 S. E. 123.
3 Parker v. Russell, 133 Mass. 74. 4 Bryson v. McCone, 121 Cal. 153;
53 Pac. 637.
5 Howay v. Going-Northrup Co., 24 Wash. 88; 85 Am. St. Rep. 942: 64 Pac. 135.