Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co. case brief

Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co. case brief summary
35 F.2d 301 (1929)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Middle District of North Carolina, in which court awarded plaintiff company full amount of claim for breach of contract after defendant cancelled contract for construction of bridge.

CASE FACTS
Board of commissioners (Board) of defendant county awarded plaintiff company a contract to construct bridge. Board subsequently adopted resolution declaring that contract was not valid, notified plaintiff of resolution, and directed plaintiff to halt construction. Plaintiff continued construction and filed suit against defendant for breach of contract, seeking damages for work performed after notice of cancellation. Trial court awarded plaintiff full amount of claim.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed. 
  • The court held that answer to complaint filed by three commissioners admitting liability was not properly admitted into evidence, because commissioners had not acted at a regularly held meeting of the Board. 
  • The court held that trial court erred in awarding plaintiff full amount of claim, because plaintiff had duty to mitigate damages once it knew of cancellation. 
  • The court held that plaintiff should be compensated for labor and materials expended until time of breach, plus profits plaintiff would have realized.

CONCLUSION
Court reversed trial court, finding that measure of damages should be compensation for labor and materials expended until time of breach, plus profits plaintiff would have realized.


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