Damnum absque injuria
is a Latin phrase
meaning "loss without injury", used in tort law when one person causes damage or loss to another for which the latter has no remedy. For example, opening a burger stand near someone else's may cause them to lose customers, but they will have no legal recourse
The phrase was used Alabama Power Co. v. Ickes
, 302 U.S. 464
, a 1938 U.S. Supreme Court
- The term 'direct injury' is there used in its legal sense, as meaning a wrong which directly results in the violation of a legal right. 'An injury, legally speaking, consists of a wrong done to a person, or, in other words, a violation of his right. It is an ancient maxim, that a damage to one, without an injury in this sense (damnum absque injuria), does not lay the foundation of an action; because, if the act complained of does not violate any of his legal rights, it is obvious, that he has no cause to complain. ... Want of right and want of remedy are justly said to be reciprocal. Where therefore there has been a violation of a right, the person injured is entitled to an action.' Parker v. Griswold, 17 Conn. 288, 302, 303, 42 Am.Dec. 739. The converse is equally true, that where, although there is damage, there is no violation of a right no action can be maintained.