Wednesday, January 1, 2014

J’Aire Corp. v. Gregory case brief

J’Aire Corp. v. Gregory case brief summary
598 P.2d 60 (1979)

Appellant sought review of order of the Superior Court of Sonoma County (California) which sustained appellee's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissed appellant's complaint for damages based in tort for business losses.

Appellant, a lessee, sued appellee, a general contractor, for damages resulting from delay in completion of construction project at premises where appellant operated restaurant. Appellee demurred successfully and appellant's complaint was dismissed.


  • A duty was owed by appellee to appellant. 
  • Appellee had duty to complete construction in a manner that would have avoided unnecessary injury to appellant's business, even though construction contract was with owner of a building rather than with appellant, the tenant. 
  • The contractor owed a duty to avoid injury to the person or property of third parties. 
  • The risk of harm to appellant was foreseeable and appellant's injury should not go uncompensated merely because it was unaccompanied by any injury to his person or property. 
  • Thus, appellee was liable since his lack of ordinary care caused foreseeable injury to the economic interests of appellant.

Court reversed dismissal of appellant's complaint holding that appellee owed a duty of care to appellant to complete its construction work in a manner which did not cause undue injury to appellant's business, where such injury was reasonably foreseeable.

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