Peevyhouse_casebrief - Legal Issue/Question What are the...

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Case Name: , 382 P.2d 109 (1962) Procedural history: Plaintiffs and defendant appealed the jury verdict for plaintiffs from the District Court of Oklahoma County, in their breach of contract action arising from defendant's nonperformance after expiration of a lease. Facts: Plaintiffs leased their premises to defendant for coal mining purposes. Defendant agreed to perform certain restorative and remedial work at the end of the lease period, which defendant failed to perform. At trial, plaintiffs introduced expert testimony as to the estimated cost of the work to be done. Defendant introduced expert testimony as to the diminution in value of plaintiffs' farm resulting from defendant's nonperformance. The court left the amount of damages for jury determination. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs for only a fraction of the cost of performance, but more than the total value of the farm even after the remedial work was done.
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Unformatted text preview: Legal Issue/Question: What are the appropriate damages that P should receive to compensate for D’s breach of contract? Should they get an amount that would cover the full cost of completing the performance agreed to in the contract? Answer/Holding: Court rejects damages sufficient to pay for full performance and instead holds that P should be compensated for the diminution in value resulting to the premises. Reasoning: The owner is entitled to the money which will permit him to complete work, unless the cost of completion is grossly and unfairly and out of proportion to the good to be attained. When that is true, the measure is the difference in value. NOTES: This court’s decision totally sucked. Professor Dunne argues that this case was about economic efficiency, but what about idiosyncratic value?...
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