GISTLegal Dictionary -> GIST
GIST, pleading. Gist of the action is the essential ground or object of it,
in point of law, and without which there is no cause of action. Gould on Pl. c. 4, Sec. 12. But it is observable that the substance or gist of the action is not always the principal cause of the plaintiff Is complaint in point of fact, nor that on which he recovers all or the greatest part of his damages. 2. It frequently happens that upon that part of his declaration which contains the substance or gist of the, action, he only recovers nominal damages, and he gets his principal satisfaction on account of matter altogether collateral thereto. A familiar instance of this is the case where a father sues the defendant for a trespass for the seduction of his daughter. The gist of the action is the trespass, and the loss of his daughter's services, but the collateral cause is the injury done to his feelings, for which the principal damages are given. In stating the substance or gist of the action, every thing must be averred which is necessary to be proved at the trial. Vide 1 Vin. Ab. 598; 2 Phil. Ev. 1, note. See Bac. Abr. Pleas, B; Doct. P. 85. See Damages, special, in pleading; 1 Vin. At. 598; 2 Phil. Ev. 1, n.