Sunday, December 1, 2013

Centex Corporation v. Dalton case brief

Centex Corporation v. Dalton case brief summary
840 S.W.2d 952 (1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner construction company challenged a holding of the Court of Appeals of the Fourth District of Texas that found that its contract with respondent thrift executive was not invalidated by a governmental regulation.

CASE FACTS
In district court, respondent thrift executive filed suit against petitioner construction company, seeking to recover liquidated damages for an alleged breach of contract. He later moved for summary judgment, which the district court granted, awarding him $ 750,000 as damages for breach of contract, plus prejudgment interest, post-judgment interest, costs and attorney fees. The court of appeals affirmed, and petitioner applied for writ of error.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that an order of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board prohibited petitioner's performance under the parties' agreement, which otherwise would have been enforceable under state contract law. 
  • However, because petitioner could not pay respondent and obey the governmental regulation, which prohibited the proposed payment, petitioner's duty to perform under the agreement was excused. 
  • Therefore the writ of error was issued.

CONCLUSION
The supreme court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and rendered judgment for petitioner construction company on the basis that its contract with respondent thrift executive was unenforceable because a governmental regulation prohibited petitioner's performance under the contract. Therefore, petitioner's performance was discharged.

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