Limitation of Liability is one of the most important clauses you will find in almost any Terms and Conditions agreement. Reassessment of the consequential damages waiver is especially important in the context of confidentiality and data security obligations. In contracting for IT services, it is important for purchasers to thoughtfully consider the risks of harm presented by the services, and then negotiate terms that appropriately allocate those risks between the parties. To understand the effects of a consequential damages waiver, one must first understand what consequential damages are. Home > Vendor management and transactions > Recent Case Highlights The Dangers Of Consequential Damage Waivers in IT Contracts. Thus there was no breach of its obligations under the agreement. Adding indemnification provisions for expenses incurred in addressing a breach of regulated personal information and protected health information (and adding a carve out for indemnification to the consequential damages disclaimer). 849 (11th Cir. You also learn how to connect a Silverpop connector endpoint to the Silverpop … And anyway, if LMT suffered any damages, they were indirect or consequential and consequential such damages … The Limitation of Liability clause clarifies a business's legal liability and responsibilities in the case of legal litigations in the future. (Stand-alone non-disclosure agreements might be exceptions). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit —one of the highest federal courts below the Supreme Court—recently affirmed a decision in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. finding that all damages flowing from a vendor’s data breach were barred by a standard provision in IT service contracts, disclaiming all liability for consequential … And if a court uses the Silverpop analysis and finds that maintaining the confidentiality of data is not the primary purpose of the IT contract, then damages from the confidentiality breach will be consequential. When Leading Market sued to recover the lost value of its e-mail list, Silverpop argued that this was … Appx. “Under Georgia law, [t]o the extent that consequential damages are recoverable 18 in breach of contract actions, a clause excluding such damages is valid and binding unless prohibited by statute or public policy.” Silverpop… Options for addressing these risks at the contracting stage include: Not all of these options are mutually exclusive, and together they provide a toolbox for allocating the parties’ liabilities in the event of a data breach. The court then dismissed LMT’s claim for breach of contract because it had agreed to waive all consequential damages—even though claims for breach of confidentiality were exempted from the contract’s separate cap on total damages. Consequential (also known as special) damages, one capping the vendor’s total liability at some amount (often the total fees paid under the contract, or fees paid in the prior twelve months), and. Silverpop’s system and appeared to have exported at least some of Leading Market’s e-mail addresses. In November of 2010, Silverpop’s web-based system was hacked, potentially affecting the security of the nearly 500,000 e-mail addresses Leading Marketing had uploaded to the system. In most cases, the primary purpose of such a contract is to provide IT services—the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the data involved is only incident to that main purpose and performance. And … The company blends strategic services that include policy development, campaign … Silverpop then sued for declaratory judgment that LMT wasn’t entitled to any damages, and LMT filed its negligence and breach-of-contract counterclaims. LEXIS 196 (11th Cir. Appx. Silverpop is a digital marketing software company focused on helping marketers transform the customer experience— increasing engagement and driving revenue. More than a news source, the Data Protection Report provides thought leadership on emerging privacy, data protection and cybersecurity issues, and helps its readers proactively address risks and anticipate next steps in this crucial emerging field. Thus there was no breach of its obligations under the agreement. “In contracting for IT services, it is important for purchasers to thoughtfully consider the risks of harm presented by the services, and then negotiate terms that appropriately allocate those risks between the parties. Jan. 5, 2016), which summarily affirmed the federal district court’s “well-reasoned and thorough decision” finding, among other things, that the parties’ consequential damages waiver barred all damages from an IT vendor’s data breach. Matthew Spohn and David Navetta explain that the court’s analysis could apply to almost any breach of data provided to a vendor under an IT service contract, and highlights the need to carefully scrutinize a proposed waiver of consequential damages when confidential or sensitive data is involved in the contract. Silverpop … 3 In that case, the Plaintiff Silverpop … … Textbooks and treatises on contract law will define consequential damages in the context of the following summary of contract damages: Even using this scholarly definition, direct and consequential damages are difficult to differentiate. An article in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Data Protection Reportdiscusses a recent ruling by the 11th U.S. That position has some support from the recent decision of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc., 61 Fed. In a telling passage, the court reasoned: [T]he loss suffered by LMT is of a type resulting from the breach of a specific term of the agreement. This confusion is compounded by the fact that courts will often add layers of additional analysis to distinguish direct and consequential damages. Norton Rose Fulbright LLP © 2020. In Silverpop v. Leading Market Technologies , 2016 U.S. App. Silverpop makes this possible by using customer data and each individual’s behaviors to inform and drive every interaction in real time. Some writers have argued that any damages from the breach of a confidentiality obligation are necessarily consequential, because the specific harm caused by the breach would rarely be apparent on the fact of the contract. If the IT contract contains a standard waiver of consequential damages, then the aggrieved party may be without a remedy. According to LMT, it is entitled to summary judgment because Silverpop breached Section 4.1 of the parties' agreement by failing to protect the LMT List from disclosure to third parties, the damages it incurred as a result of the breach were direct rather than consequential and, thus, recoverable under the contract, and even if those damages were consequential, … In granting Silverpop’s motion for summary judgment, the district court assumed that LMT had suffered damages. It was therefore critical for the Court to decide whether the damages … The result is that judges, attorneys, and scholars regularly note that the distinction between direct and consequential damages is difficult to apply, and one should never rest easy in believing that potential damages are one or the other. The district court then assessed whether the contract prohibited the damages LMT sought … LMT sued Silverpop for breach of the confidentiality provisions in their agreement, alleging that the value of its confidential email list was diminished by the data breach. Silverpop moved for dismissal of that claim with the argument that those damages were consequential, and were therefore barred by the consequential damages waiver in their agreement. LMT argues that it seeks to recover the lost market value of the LMT List and that lost market value is a direct injury rather than consequential … Every online business should have a Terms and Conditions agreement that lays out rules for customers and users, as well as any necessary legal terms. The court dismissed LMTs breach of contract claim because LMT had agreed to include the waiver of all consequential damages in the contract it had entered into with Silverpop. January 5, 2016) enforced a contractual waiver of consequential damages provision, thereby reaffirming the validity of such provisions in Georgia. In most cases, the purpose … Consequential damages - The US Court held that based on this distinction L’s damages were best characterised as consequential. Against this background, breaches of confidentiality agreements present unique challenges in sorting direct from consequential damages. On July 19, 2012, Silverpop filed this action, seeking a judgment declaring that LMT was not damaged by the data breach or that the damages incurred were consequential damages and, as such, not … (quote omitted). Ga. App. Using that analysis, the court found that contract’s purpose was email marketing, and that the confidentiality obligations were only incidental to that purpose. Silverpop argued that it was engaged to provide access to its online system, not specifically to keep data secure. It said that the parties’ agreement was not one for … one stating that in no event will the vendor be liable for any consequential, incidental, or indirect damages. Recent Case Highlights The Dangers Of Consequential Damage Waivers in IT Contracts, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Techs., Inc. UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT (5 Jan, 2016) 5 Jan, 2016 Silverpop Sys., Inc. v. Leading Mkt. Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. This requires both parties to reconsider the standard vendor-friendly term waiving all consequential damages. In addressing this argument, the court acknowledged the black-letter “foreseeable to a stranger/foreseeable to the parties” test of direct versus consequential damages, but decided that the Second Circuit’s “value of performance/additional losses” analysis was a helpful gloss on that test. All Rights Reserved. The decision that was made in this case was actually a pretty important one to the world of information technology. “[T]o the extent that consequential damages are recoverable in breach of contract actions, a clause excluding such damages is valid and binding unless prohibited by statute or public … Silverpop Systems specializes in planning, executing, and managing permission-based e-mail marketing campaigns. The defendant in that case, Leading Market Technologies, Inc. (“LMT”), is a digital marketer that had hired the plaintiff Silverpop Systems, Inc. (“Silverpop”) to use LMT’s confidential email address list to distribute advertising content. Consequential damage waivers are a frequent part of merger and acquisition agreements involving private company targets. The contract contained the following exclusion " In no event will Silverpop be liable to the other party for consequential damages ". Silverpop filed a declaratory action seeking payment. The typical vendor-friendly IT service contract will contain a section titled “limitation of liability” with two key provisions: Purchasers will often focus on the first provision but fail to address the second provision, perhaps because it reads like boilerplate language that reasonably confirms that the vendor will not be liable for speculative damage claims. Therefore, direct damages would consist of the lost money paid for the promised marketing services, and other damages (such as the lost value of the confidential email list) were consequential. By Editoron October 6, 2016 in Computers & Technology, Contracts. For instance, in Schonfeld v. Hilliard, 218 F.3d 164, 175–76 (2d Cir. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit—one of the highest federal courts below the Supreme Court—recently affirmed a decision in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. finding that all damages flowing from a vendor’s data breach were barred by a standard provision in IT service contracts, disclaiming all liability for consequential damages. The power of a contract’s consequential damages waiver was most recently illustrated in an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. 2 In that case, the appellate court summarily affirmed the federal district court’s “well-reasoned and thorough decision,” finding, among other things, that the parties’ consequential damages waiver barred all damages caused by a technology vendor’s data breach. Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed a decision in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc., finding that all damages flowing from a vendor’s data breach were barred by a standard provision in IT service contracts, disclaiming all liability for consequential damages. 849 (11th Cir. If the vendor allows confidential information to be breached, this could harm the value of that data, cause competitive harm and lost profits, and expose the company to claims by third parties with interests in the exposed data, among other things. In November of 2010, Silverpop’s web-based system was hacked, potentially affecting the security of the nearly 500,000 e-mail addresses Leading Marketing had uploaded to the system. This requires both parties to reconsider the standard vendor-friendly term waiving all consequential damages,” the authors write. Silverpop / IBM Campaign automation (Watson) is a marketing technology provider that offers a marketing automation solution built on a scalable email marketing platform. In this tutorial, you learn how to establish OAuth 2.0 authentication to connect the Silverpop connector to the Silverpop Engage platform. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit—one of the highest federal courts below the Supreme Court—recently affirmed a decision in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. finding that all damages flowing from a vendor’s data breach were barred by a standard provision in IT service contracts, disclaiming all liability for consequential damages. Although these waivers are heavily negotiated, the au-thors believe that few deal professionals understand the concept of consequential damages Thus, considering the purpose of the parties’ agreement, the damages LMT seeks are not the type that “arise naturally and from the usual course of things.” LMT’s damages are consequential rather than direct. Previously known as the Silverpop … The court’s analysis could apply to almost any breach of data provided to a vendor under an IT service contract, and highlights the need to carefully scrutinize a proposed waiver of consequential damages when confidential or sensitive data is involved in the contract. 641 (1997), which held that a waiver of consequential damages provision was enforceable and barred the plaintiff’s alleged consequential damages, even when the other party wrongfully terminated … But this task confounds both lawyers and judges. If the exposed data contains personal information or protected medical information subject to state and federal regulation, then the breach could also expose the company to breach notification and remediation expenses, which could be construed as consequential. After an … Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed a decision in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc., finding that all damages flowing from a vendor’s data breach … Recent Case Highlights Dangers of Consequential Damage Waivers in IT Contracts. A defendant's breach of contract … But hackers accessed the portion of Silverpop’s network where LMT’s email list was stored, and  the list may have been misappropriated (though this could not be confirmed). Silverpop argued that it was engaged to provide access to its online system, not specifically to keep data secure. LEXIS 196, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that losses associated with a data breach “are best characterized as consequential” and recovery on a contract claim should be barred when the contract contains a prohibition the award of consequential damages. But that is a misconception—the consequential damages waiver has important ramifications, especially in the context of confidentiality breaches. Recent Case Highlights The Dangers Of Consequential Damage Waivers in IT Contracts By Matthew Spohn (US) and David Navetta (US) on September 26, 2016, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit —one of the highest federal courts below the Supreme Court—recently affirmed a decision in Silverpop … In the absence of a breach of the confidentiality provision, LMT would not have incurred the loss to the sale value of the LMT List. Fine-tune email marketing and lead-generation activities with these four tips for using Silverpop connector activities with IBM WebSphere Cast Iron. Silverpop’s failure was a failure to uphold one specific term of the contract (the confidentiality provision), and, based on that, any damages from Silverpop’s lack of security were … Before addressing the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Silverpop, some background on consequential damage waivers may be helpful –. However, lost profits are not the only kind of consequential damages. That position has some support from the recent decision of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc., 61 Fed. Leading Marketing counterclaimed, arguing that it was justified in withholding payment since Silverpop had failed to keep the addresses secure. Removing the consequential damages waiver entirely, and relying on the background common law that damages unforeseeable at the time of contracting are not recoverable; Carving out from the consequential damages waiver any claims arising from breach of confidentiality, even if such claims are already exempted from the contractual damages cap; Adding indemnification provisions for third-party claims arising from a breach of confidentiality (and adding a carve out for indemnification to the consequential damages disclaimer); and. Recent Case Highlights The Dangers Of Consequential Damage Waivers in IT Contracts. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Silverpop Systems, Inc. v. Leading Market Technologies, Inc., 2016 U.S. App. The standard Limitation of Liability clause for an online business looks something like this one from Micros… The type of consequential damages most often sought is lost operating profits of a business. 2000),  the influential Second Circuit Court of Appeals (which handles appeals from New York’s federal courts, among others) adds the test of whether damages compensate for “the value of the very performance promised,” such that they are direct damages, or whether they compensate for “additional losses (other than the value of the promised performance),” such that they are consequential damages. Leading … This analysis is significant, because it could apply in almost any IT services contract. The court dismissed the case despite the fact that claims for a breach of confidentiality were excused from the contracts separate maximum of total damages that could be incurred and paid out. See id. 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