Britton v. Turner Case Brief

Summary of Britton v. Turner


Plaintiff: Britton (worker)

Defendant: Turner

Facts: Plaintiff contracted defendant to work one year, from March 1831 to March 1832, for the payment of $120. But plaintiff, having no good cause, left that service without defendant’s consent. But no evidence offered of any damage arising from the plaintiff’s departure. Britton sued for the work he had done, and the jury awarded him $95.

Issue: Whether the plaintiff, party in breach, can be awarded the sum of $95 for the work he had done?

Reasoning: To the service that plaintiff had done defendant has choice to receive it or reject it. If he receives or has advantage from the service, he should pay for what he has benefited from the service, just like a person should pay for the part of merchandize he received and used, though the whole was never delivered.

If the party receives the part performance from time to time, knowing the whole would never be performed; he should still pay for the performance he received.

But if the party suffers damages more than what he benefits from the service of the party in breach, it is hard for the party in breach to get the restitution.

Holding: The judgment is confirmed in favor of Plaintiff.

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