Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brian Construction & Development Co. v. Brighenti case brief

Brian Construction & Development Co. v. Brighenti case brief summary
405 A.2d 72 (Conn. 1978)

Plaintiff general contractor filed suit against defendant sub-contractor in the Superior Court of Hartford County (Connecticut). The sub-contractor filed a counterclaim. Judgment was entered in favor of the sub-contractor on the general contractor's claim and for the general contractor on the sub-contractor's counterclaim. The general contractor sought review of the judgment for the sub-contractor.

The general contractor agreed to construct a post office and the sub-contractor agreed to do the excavation work. While doing the work, the sub-contractor discovered substantial debris that was unanticipated by the parties. All parties agreed that removal of the debris was necessary, but no one gave the contractor the written authorization to spend the additional money required for removing the debris. The general contractor entered into another contract with the sub-contractor, which included debris removal. It was an oral agreement that the sub-contractor did not confirm in writing. The sub-contractor began to work for a few weeks, but then stopped and refused to finish the job. As a result, the general contractor undertook the work himself and incurred substantial damages.

One of the general contractor's claims on appeal was that the oral agreement was valid and obligated the sub-contractor to remove the debris.

The court held that, under the circumstances, the subsequent oral agreement was binding as a new, distinct contract, which was supported by valid consideration, and the sub-contractor's actions constituted a breach of contract.

The court overruled the trial court's entry of judgment in favor of the sub-contractor on the complaint filed by the general contractor, and remanded the matter with direction to enter judgment in favor of the general contractor.

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