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Related to liquidated damages: Unliquidated damages
A sum specified in a contract whereby damages in the event of breach are to be determined. In a construction contract, liquidated damages usually are specified as a fixed sum per day for failure to complete the work, 1 within a specified time. If set at a level consistent with a reasonable forecast of actual harm to the owner, liquidated damage clauses will be upheld and will preclude use of standards for computation of damages that would otherwise be imposed by law. If the amount prescribed for liquidated damages is unreasonably high, the provision will be denominated an illegal “penalty” by the courts and held invalid; in such case, damages will be determined pursuant to otherwise applicable rules of law.