Duncan contends that the trial court’s judgment in favor of the Chamber was clearly erroneous and that it erred in denying his summary judgment motion. The Chamber contends that that trial court erroneously denied its summary judgment motion. We agree with the Chamber, finding its argument to be dispositive.
It is well-settled that “[t]o recover for a breach of contract, a plaintiff must prove that: (1) a contract existed, (2) the defendant breached the contract, and (3) the plaintiff suffered damage as a result of the defendant’s breach.” Collins v. McKinney, 871 N.E.2d 363, 370 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007). The Chamber contends, inter alia, that Duncan failed to designate any evidence of damages because the evidence shows that he was ultimately paid in excess of what he was owed for the thirty days following the decision to terminate him. Duncan, however, contends that the proper measure of damages should include salary, expenses, and reimbursement for medical insurance pursuant to the contract from the date of the alleged breach and continuing for the term of the contract. Essentially, the Chamber is asking us to adopt the general proposition that damages for breach of a notice requirement are limited to compensation for the notice period, which proposition was implicitly adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court in City of Indianapolis v. Bly, 39 Ind. 373, 375 (1872). In Bly, the plaintiff contracted with Indianapolis to be a lamplighter, which contract contained a provision that Indianapolis could terminate the contract with one month’s notice. Id. at 373. Bly brought suit on the contract, presumably after the contract was terminated without the required one month’s notice. Id. The trial court instructed the jury regarding damages, in part, as follows:
‘It is of the contract between plaintiff and defendant that the defendant should have the right to declare the contract at an end after giving the plaintiff one month’s notice in writing of such fact; and it is for you to find from the evidence whether such notice was given, then, after one month from the time when such notice was given, the defendant was no longer liable to plaintiff.’
Id. at 374. The Indiana Supreme Court rejected Indianapolis’s challenge to the instruction, implicitly adopting the proposition that damages for breach of notice provisions are limited to compensation for the notice period. Id. at 375. We have little hesitation in explicitly adopting the proposition, and therefore do not accept Duncan’s argument, which, if adopted, would entitle him to what could only be called the windfall of being compensated for the remainder of the contract term–for services he did not provide–as though he had never been terminated
…So, today we adopt the majority rule that “[t]he summary discharge of an employee entitled under the employment contract to a specified period of notice ordinarily permits him to recover his compensation for the notice period only and not for the entire balance of the contract period.” W.C. Crais III, Annotation, Effect of attempt to terminate employment or agency contract upon shorter notice than that stipulated in contract, 96 A.L.R.2d 272 (1964). [Footnote omitted.]
VAIDIK, J., and CRONE, J., concur.