Wednesday, December 18, 2013

McIntosh v. Murphy case brief

McIntosh v. Murphy case brief summary
469 P.2d 177 (1970)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant employer sought review from an order of the First Circuit Court (Hawaii), which entered judgment for plaintiff former employee in a claim for breach of a one-year oral employment contract.

CASE FACTS
Defendant employer challenged a decision entering judgment for plaintiff former employee in an action for breach of a one-year oral employment contract.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed and held that the action of plaintiff moving 2200 miles from Los Angeles to Hawaii was foreseeable by defendant. 
  • Injustice could only be avoided by the enforcement of the contract and the granting of money damages because no other remedy was adequate. 
  • The court found that it was also clear that a contract of some kind did exist. 
  • The exact length of the contract, whether terminable at will as urged by the defendant, or for a year from the time when the plaintiff started working, was up to the jury to decide. 
  • There was considerable discretion for the trial court to implement the true policy behind the statute of frauds, which was to prevent fraud or any other type of unconscionable injury. 
  • Plaintiff's reliance was such that injustice could only be avoided by enforcement of the contract.
CONCLUSION
The court affirmed an order entering judgment for plaintiff former employee in an action against defendant employer for breach of an oral employment contract. The court held that the verdict granting money damages was appropriate because no other remedy was adequate.


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