Groves v. John Wunder Co. Case Brief

Summary of Groves v. John Wunder Co.
Supreme Court of Minnesota, 1939.

Facts: ? contracted with D where D leased the land of ? and agreed to remove the sand and gravel. D willfully breached the K by removing only the best gravel and leaving the rest on the land. It was determined that it would cost ? $60,000 to complete the project but the increased value of the property of ? will only be $12,160.

Procedure: The trial court awarded ? only $15,000 (increased value of property + interest). P, being unhappy with the judgment, appeals.

Issue: Can ? recover for the cost of completing the project even if it is more than the increased value of the property?

Holding: Yes

Rationale: The D willfully breached the K and he should not be awarded. According to the court, the increased value of the property should not be a consideration in the current case. “Suppose a contractor were suing the owner for breach of a grading K such as this. Would any element of value, or lack of it, in the land have any relevance in reckoning damages? Of course not." Furthermore, awarding the ? the higher amount will not unjustly enrich him. There is no unconscionable enrichment when the court gives to one party what the other party had already promised to give under the K. Reversed and remanded.



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