Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tyra v. Cheney case brief

Tyra v. Cheney case brief summary
152 N.W. 835 (1915)

Plaintiff subcontractor brought an action to recover the reasonable value of work performed for the contractor. The District Court of Hennepin County (Minnesota) denied the contractor's motions to dismiss and for judgment notwithstanding the jury verdict for the subcontractor. The contractor appealed.

The subcontractor allegedly gave the contractor an oral bid for roofing and sheet metal work. When the bid was put in writing, the subcontractor mistakenly left out $ 963 of the total amount. The contractor denied ever receiving an estimate other than the written bid.


  • The trial court affirmed the jury verdict for the subcontractor and found that the trial court properly instructed the jury that the subcontractor had the burden to show, by fair preponderance of the evidence, that the contractor directed the subcontractor to proceed with the work with knowledge of the mistake. 
  • In such case, the subcontractor could recover the reasonable value of the services. 
  • The contractor could not snap up the bid knowing that it was a mistake and the subcontractor could not profit by its own mistake by holding the contractor to the oral bid.

The court affirmed the trial court's judgment for the subcontractor.

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