Cause Of Action Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cause Of Action, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Cause Of Action?

(n) Cause of action is the legal ground or claim with which a party can file a lawsuit to find remedy or satisfaction of his claim. Cause of action implies the right to bring a legal action, legal sustainability of a dispute etc. For example a legal case cannot be filed without a clear defendant and a claimable interest of the appellant in the case.

History and Meaning of Cause Of Action

A cause of action is the legal basis or theory upon which a person seeks relief from a court. A party may file a lawsuit only if a legally recognized cause of action exists. A cause of action typically includes a set of facts that give rise to the right to sue, as well as the legal theory or theories that support the right to sue. The concept of a cause of action has its roots in English common law, which recognized specific forms of legal action for various types of harms suffered.

Examples of Cause Of Action

  1. A person files a lawsuit for breach of contract after a business fails to deliver goods that were paid for in advance.
  2. An individual sues for personal injuries sustained in a car accident caused by another driver's negligence.
  3. A company initiates a lawsuit against a former employee for stealing trade secrets and breaching a confidentiality agreement.
  4. An estate administrator brings a lawsuit against a bank for mishandling the estate's funds.
  5. A homeowner sues a contractor for breach of contract and negligence after the contractor failed to complete a home renovation project according to the agreed-upon plans and specifications.

Legal Terms Similar to Cause Of Action

  1. Claim: A demand for money or other relief.
  2. Complaint: The first initial pleading in a civil lawsuit in which a plaintiff makes a claim against a defendant.
  3. Damages: Monetary compensation awarded by a court to a plaintiff for losses or injuries incurred.
  4. Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear and decide a case.
  5. Tort: A civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, that causes harm or injury to another person or property.