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I am reading a document, and it is confusing me and want to be certain of the meaning of this sentence:

OUR COMPANY'S TOTAL LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ACTUAL DAMAGES FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER WILL BE LIMITED TO THE GREATER OF $500 OR THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR THE SOFTWARE THAT CAUSED SUCH DAMAGE.

If the amount paid for the software equals to $200, then the greater will be $500 ?

and If the amount paid for the software equals to $700, then the greater will be $700 ?

Or is it the opposite?

Question 2:

Lets say I want to reword the sentence to be:

... Limited to the greater of $500 or %25 of the amount paid by you for ...

Any thing grammatically wrong with that?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about interpreting a legal document, and we are not lawyers.
    – tchrist
    Jul 18, 2013 at 20:04
  • @tchrist, the question is about understanding an English-language sentence. Also, “we are not lawyers” is not true of all ELU participants. Jul 18, 2013 at 20:17
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    @jwpat7: clearly it is, since this is a free site. Jul 18, 2013 at 20:54
  • Off topic analysis/interpretation of a text.
    – MetaEd
    Jul 19, 2013 at 3:01

2 Answers 2

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  1. You have understood correctly. If the software cost $200 then the most you could receive would be $500 because 500 is greater than 200.

  2. Your sentence looks correct to me, except that that % symbol should be placed after the number, eg. 25%.

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    No. If the software cost $200 (or any amount less than $500), the most you could receive would be $500 (liability will be limited to [blah blah]). But in principle if you paid $200 for defective software the company might only offer compensation of $100, and the wording of OP's document would not constitute grounds in itself for expecting more. Jul 18, 2013 at 21:06
  • -1 @FumbleFingers is correct.
    – TrevorD
    Jul 18, 2013 at 23:09
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    @FumbleFingers good point, and I have edited my answer to reflect this.
    – toryan
    Jul 18, 2013 at 23:11
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I honestly cannot see where your confusion lies. Your proposed interpretation agrees with mine, and I cannot see any other possible interpretation.

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