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Commercial Litigation Contracts Landlord Tenant Law Litigation

NY Court of Appeals Rules on Damages Clauses In Commercial Leases

In The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York v. D’Agostino Supermarkets, the NY Court of Appeals split on the issue of whether the relevant damages clause in a commercial lease was unenforceable as a matter of law because it was so grossly disproportionate to the ascertainable amount due upon full performance.

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In The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York v. D’Agostino Supermarkets, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously reaffirmed the principle that “parties are free to agree to a liquidated damages clause provided that the clause is neither unconscionable nor contrary to public policy.” However, the judges split 4-3 on the issue of whether the relevant damages clause in a commercial lease was unenforceable as a matter of law because it was so grossly disproportionate to the ascertainable amount due upon full performance.

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