The borrower defaulted and the lender sold the property for far less than its valuation. The lender sought default judgment against the valuer for a liquidated sum.
The court found that the claim was on unliquidated damages, noting:
The mere fact that calculation can be made of the precise amount of damages that are alleged to be payable does not convert what is a claim for damages into a claim for a liquidated sum.
The court did not allow the lender to claim in its calculation of damages contractual interest, unpaid council rates and legal costs in relation to proceedings taken against the borrower and obtaining possession because they arose from independent acts of the borrower and were not causally related to the valuer’s negligence. The court said that:
The valuer cannot be responsible for the default of the borrower.
The court awarded damages as the difference between the amount realised on the sale of the property and the amount of the mortgage advanced, together with the costs associated with the sale of the property.
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