D hired a boat from P but breached the contract by returning it 4 years before the charter was set to end. 14 months later, the Gulf war broke out, which would have entitled D to end the contract anyway. P claimed for 4 years of damages. HL ruled that only 14 months worth of damages were payable since the aim was to put the claimant in the position that they would have been in had the contractual performance been fulfilled, and in doing this it couldn’t shut its eyes to future events.
Lord Scott: He applies the dictum of Parke B and hence says that what loss is actually caused is the relevant factor. Otherwise the courts would be giving people awards beyond their loss i.e. overcompensating.
Lord Bingham (dissenting): Points in response to Lord Scott: (1) to make people pay for the full amount is a deterrent to breach of contract; (2) Certainty is important in business, so that if there is a breach, P must be able to work out, before entering the contract, what he will be entitled to.