Wednesday, December 18, 2013

K & G Construction Co. v. Harris case brief

K & G Construction Co. v. Harris case brief summary
164 A.2d 451 (1960)

Appeal from a decision of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Maryland) awarding appellee subcontractor damages after appellant subcontractor withheld an installment payment due to appellee after appellee's failure to perform a portion of his work in a workmanlike manner.

Subcontractor appellees damaged a wall in the course of their performance of a subcontract, and appellant contractor withheld partial payment as damages. The lower court awarded damages to appellees

  • The reviewing court reversed, holding that the failure of appellee's performance to constitute substantial performance could justify the appellant in refusing to make a progress payment. 
  • If the refusal to pay an installment was justified on the appellant's part, the appellee was not justified in abandoning work by reason of that refusal. 
  • His abandonment of the work would render him liable to the appellant for his increased cost since the further breach would itself be a wrongful repudiation that went to the essence, even if the defects in performance did not.

Judgment reversed and entered in favor of appellant because appellee's abandonment of the work was a breach that would render him liable to appellant for damages even if the original defects in performance did not.

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