Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wal-Noon Corp. v. Hill case brief

Wal-Noon Corp. v. Hill case brief summary
119 Cal.Rptr. 646 (1975)

Plaintiff lessees and defendant lessors each appealed from a judgment entered by the Superior Court of Sacramento County (California), which ruled in favor of plaintiffs in their action seeking recovery under the provisions of a lease agreement for repairs made to the roof of a building leased from defendants.

Plaintiff lessees filed a lawsuit against defendant lessors to recover damages after plaintiffs replaced the roof on a building that they leased from defendants.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court, and remanded the case with instructions for the trial court to enter judgment in favor of defendants. 
  • The court found that plaintiffs failed to give any notice to defendants regarding the roof until after the repairs were made, and because such notice was an indispensable condition precedent to defendants' duty to perform under the covenant to repair, the trial court was correct in denying recovery to plaintiffs under the lease. 
  • However, the trial court erred in granting equitable relief to plaintiffs because it deprived defendants of part of the bargained-for consideration in the lease, i.e., the right of control over repairs for which they were therein held responsible. 
  • Plaintiffs' unilateral mistake was the result of their neglect of their own legal duty under the lease. 
  • Therefore, the trial court's findings of fact supported judgment in favor of defendants, who were also entitled to attorney's fees pursuant to the lease.
The court reversed and remanded the case with instructions for the trial court to enter judgment in favor of defendant lessors and to award them their reasonable attorney's fees. The court held that plaintiff lessees failed to provide notice to defendants, as required by the lease, regarding the repairs to the leased premises until after the repairs were made, in neglect of plaintiffs' legal duty.

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