Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Worcester Heritage Society, Inc. v. Trussell case brief

Worcester Heritage Society, Inc. v. Trussell case brief summary
577 N.E.2d 1009 (Mass.App.Ct. 1991)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant heritage society sought review from a Worcester County Division of the Housing Court Department (Massachusetts) judgment denying its request for recission of a contract conveying a historic house to appellee individual with an understanding that the individual would undertake historic preservation and restoration work on the house.

CASE FACTS
A heritage society conveyed a house through contract to an individual with an understanding that the individual would abide by historic preservation restrictions and do a complete historic restoration of the house. When the individual's completion of the restoration was slowed in part by the loss of his job, the heritage society sought recission of the contract. The lower court found for the individual, and the heritage society appealed.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that: 
  • (1) recission could be refused where there had only been a breach of the contract rather than an utter failure of consideration or a repudiation of the contract, 
  • (2) the individual had not repudiated the contract although his timetable for completion had been slowed and may have been initially unrealistic, 
  • (3) there had not been a total failure of consideration where the individual had invested the purchase price, additional money, and considerable labor, and 
  • (4) given that there was a remedy in the contract for the delays at issue and that the remedy was not shown to be ineffectual, there was no cause for recission.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the lower court's judgment.


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