Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spang Industries, Inc. Fort Pitt Bridge Division v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. case brief

Spang Industries, Inc. Fort Pitt Bridge Division v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. case brief summary
512 F.2d 365 (1975)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant structural steel producer challenged the judgment from the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York that awarded damages for excess expenses in favor of appellee construction company for breach of contract and denying appellant's request for interest on appellee's unpaid obligation, contending that they were special damages not within contemplation of the parties at the time of contract.

CASE FACTS
According to the terms of an agreement between appellant structural steel producer and appellee construction company, a delivery date for the steel was to be fixed at a later date, depending on the needs of appellee. After the date was fixed, appellant delayed delivery of the steel and appellee had to employ extra workers and incurred extra expenses so that a crash pour" of cement could be made to construct a bridge due to adverse weather conditions. Appellee brought an action for breach of contract in the trial court seeking to recover its excess expenses and appellant sought recovery of monies due for shipment of the steel.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court awarded damages to appellee for excess damages and offset them against the debt due to appellant but denied interest to appellant on the unpaid obligation from the due date.

ARGUMENT
Appellant sought review, contending that the expenses were special damages not within contemplation of the parties at the time of contract.

DISCUSSION
The court affirmed and held that knowledge of the consequences of default was imputed to appellant after the delivery date was set and reversed awarding interest because appellant had demanded interest in its counterclaim.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the award of excess damages because the contract by its terms had provided for a completion date to be fixed at a later date, and knowledge of the consequences of failure to perform was imputed to appellant steel producer as of the time appellant agreed to deliver it steel to appellee construction company.

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