Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicago Coliseum Club v. Dempsey case brief

Chicago Coliseum Club v. Dempsey; (App. Ct. of IL, 1932); Supp 32; Notes 16
  • Facts: Dempsey and CCC made K for Dempsey to be in boxing match. After CCC spent money and effort promoting match, Dempsey refuses to fight. Dempsey had made other K to fight someone else, even though part of CCC K was that he wouldn’t. P sued for injunction to keep Dempsey from training or taking part in fight. Also sues for 4 types of damages: (1) lost profits; (2) expenses incurred prior to K; (3) litigation expenses; (4) expenses incurred between K signing and breach.
  • Issue: To what damages is P entitled?
  • Holding: Reliance here b/c expectation too difficult to measure.
  • Rule: When expectation damages are improper or insufficient, reliance and restitution damages may be substituted in certain cases.
  • Rationale: The problems for figuring expectation interest far too great here. This was a special, one-time event. Lost profits are too uncertain, expenses incurred before the signing of the K were not Dempsey’s fault, costs of litigation were incurred at P’s own risk.
  • Commentary: Also relevant to inquiry here is fact that Ds were amateurs and un-savvy businessmen, incurring lots of expenses on reliance upon something that wasn’t certain. They were probably trying to break into the tightly controlled market that clubs dominated. Outcome might have been different if this were match that occurred every Saturday for two years prior, or something like that, since there would have been baseline from which to measure lost profits.

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