Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Plante v. Jacobs case brief

Plante v. Jacobs case brief summary
103 N.W.2d 296 (1960)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiffs appealed from a decision of the Circuit Court for Waukesha County (Wisconsin) granting damages according to the diminished value rule to defendant homeowners and against plaintiff contractor who substantially performed under the contract.

CASE FACTS
On appeal, both defendants and plaintiff asserted that the lower court applied the wrong rule in assessing damages when a construction contract was substantially, but not strictly, performed according to the contract.

DISCUSSION

  • The reviewing court affirmed, stating that the correct rule for damages due to faulty construction was the difference between the value of the house as it stood and the value of the house if it had been constructed in accordance with the specifications. 
  • The cost of replacement was not the measure of such damage, but was an element to take into consideration in arriving at value under some circumstances. 
  • When the separation of defects would lead to confusion, the rule of diminished value applied to all defects. 
  • As the lower court's findings were not against the great weight and clear preponderance of the evidence, it would not be disturbed on appeal.

CONCLUSION
Affirmed because the lower court's application of the diminished-value rule to determine damages due to faulty construction was not against the great weight and clear preponderance of the evidence.


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