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Response or Comment

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AIthough our text-books say that the rule of certainty is "more fundamental than any rule of compensation because compensation is allowed or disallowed subject to it," (cf. SEDGWICK, EL. or DAMAGES, p. 12) nevertheless the tendency of the courts seems to be to save the equitable principle of compensation at the expense of certainty. A striking illustration of this is found in a recent case in the Court of Appeal, Chaplin v. Hicks, C. A. [1911] 2 K. B. 786. The defendant, a theatrical manager, agreed to give positions as actresses to persons chosen by the votes of the readers of a newspaper. In response to his advertisement about six thousand photographs were sent in, and from these a committee picked about three hundred. These were published in the paper and from them the readers selected five in each of the ten districts into which the country was divided. From this fifty, twelve were to be selected by a committee before which the candidates were to appear. The plaintiff's name was at the head of the five in her particular section. The defendant failed to give her proper notice of the meeting of the committee and she was thus deprived of her chance of winning a prize. The prizes were of considerable value, being appointments to positions for three years at salaries ranging from five to three pounds a week for the period named. The jury gave her one hundred guineas damages, and, on judgment being granted for this sum, the defendant appealed. The upper court dismissed the appeal, holding that she was entitled to recover substantial and not merely nominal damages.