Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Missouri Furnace Co. v. Cochran case brief

Missouri Furnace Co. v. Cochran case brief summary
8 F. 463 (W.D. Pa. 1881)

Appellant buyer, a furnace company, sought review of the judgment of a United States district court, which entered a jury verdict against appellee coal supplier, who had breached a coal sales contract with the buyer. The buyer filed a motion for a new trial.

The coal supplier entered into a contract with the buyer to provide coal at $1.20 per ton. The supplier notified the buyer that it would not complete delivery and sold the coal to another company for $4.00 per ton. The buyer alleged that the district court erred in instructing the jury on the measure of damages and that it was entitled to damages for the difference between what it paid for the coal and the contract amount.


  • The court affirmed the verdict, holding that the district court correctly instructed the jury that the measure of damages was the difference between the contract price and the market value of the coal on the dates that it was to have been delivered. 
  • That rule applied unless the goods could not be obtained in the market and the buyer suffered damages beyond the difference. 
  • The buyer could have purchased the coal at market price. 
  • The buyer chose to enter into a new forward contract to purchase the coal at a higher price at its own risk. 
  • It could not have fairly claimed that the damages chargeable against the supplier should have been assessed on the basis of its new contract.

The court affirmed the district court's judgment on the damages payable to the buyer for the coal supplier's repudiation of its sales contract and denied the buyer's motion for a new trial.

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