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The maxim damnum sine injuria literally means that there

is an act which caused damage but no legal right is infringed


. Such an act is not actionable in the law of Torts.

The word damnum means damage . This damage may be
loss of health , loss of service , physical hurt and loss of
money or the like . The word injuria means a legal injury or
tortuous act or an infringement of legal right . And the word
sine means without . So the maxim means that a damage
without infringement of any legal right . Where there is no
infringement of legal right , whatever loss one may sustain ,
no action lies against that act which is not at all a wrongful .
Therefore , damnum sine injuria does not afford any right
to sue for legal remedy including claim of compensation and
etc.

I n order to make a person liable in law , the plaintiff must
prove that he sustained legal injury . Damage without injury
is not actionable . There are many acts which are , though
harmful , are not wrongful , in the eye of law , and therefore ,
do not give rise to a right of action in favour of the person
who sustains the damage .

An example may be given with respect to this maxim .

In the famous case of Gloucester Grammar School , the
defendant , a schoolmaster , set up a rival school next to that
of the plaintiff , with the result that the boys from the
plaintiffs school flocked to the defendants . The plaintiff
sued the defendant for the loss . It was held that no suit
could lie , because bonafide competition can afford no
ground of action , whatever damage it may cause .


The general principle upon which the maxim is based is that
if one exercises his common or ordinary rights , within
reasonable limits , and without infringing others legal right ,
such exercise of rights does not give rise to an action in tort
in favour of that other person .

In another famous case of Day Vs. Browning , where the
plaintiffs house was called Ashford Lodge for sixty years
, and the adjoining house belonging to the defendant was
called Ashford Villa for forty years . The defendant then
altered the name of his house and started to call it Ashford
Lodge . The plaintiff alleged that this act of defendant had
caused him great inconvenience and annoyance , and had
materially diminished the value of property . It was held that
the defendant was not liable , as he had not violated any
legal right of the plaintiff .

The Privy Council pointed out in the case of Roger Vs.
Rajendra Dutta, that it is essential to an action in tort that the
act complained of , should under the circumstances , be
legally wrongful as regards the party complaining . That is ,
it must prejudicially affect him in some legal righ