Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hawkins v. McGee case brief

Hawkins v. McGee case brief summary

84 N.H. 114

SYNOPSIS: Defendant appealed the decision of the lower court issuing judgment in favor of plaintiff in his suit for breach of contract and warranty regarding an operation that defendant performed on plaintiff's hand.

-Defendant performed an operation on plaintiff's hand.
-Defendant stated that the operation would make plaintiff's hand perfect.
-Plaintiff was dissatisfied with the results of the operation and sued defendant for breach of contract alleging that defendant provided a warranty that his hand would be perfect.
-Judgment was entered in favor of plaintiff.
-Defendant appealed.

The court found that plaintiff's case was properly submitted to the jury because defendant's statement constituted a warranty in that plaintiff believed the statement, and the statement induced plaintiff to consent to the operation.

-However, the court reversed the judgment and ordered a new trial because the jury was improperly instructed that plaintiff's damages included both pain and suffering and the ill effects of the operation. -The instructed measure of damages was improper because the correct measure of plaintiff's damages was the difference between the value of a perfect hand and value of his hand in its post-operation condition.
-The pain resulting from the operation was a legal detriment suffered by plaintiff in consideration for the contract.

Restatement s. 2. Promise; Promisor; Promisee; Beneficiary
1) A promise is a manifestation of intention to act or refrain from acting in a specified way, so made as to justify a promise in understanding that a commitment has been made.
2) The person manifesting the intention is the promisor.
3) The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the promisee.
4) Where performance will benefit a person other than the promisee, that person is a beneficiary.

Restatement s. 4. How a Promise May Be Made.
-A promise may be stated in words either oral or written, or may be inferred wholly or partly from conduct.

OUTCOME: Judgment reversed because, although defendant warranted plaintiff's hand would be perfect, jury was improperly instructed that plaintiff's damages included pain and suffering and ill effects of the operation when damages properly included only ill effects of the operation because pain was legal detriment suffered by plaintiff in consideration for contract. 

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1 comment:

  1. This case made James Hart loose his lunch in The Paper Chase.


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