Summary of Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co.
US Ct of App. 1929
Facts: Luten brought the action to recover for breach. Luten was contracted to build a bridge for Rockingham. Rockingham admits breach, but provided a notice of cancellation prior to completion. Luten continued until finished.
Issue: Can a party recover damages after repudiation of contract and prior to completion of the terms?
Rule: If a contract is repudiated and notice given, then the non-breaching party files an action to recover damages he may have sustained from the breach.
Procedure: Trial ct. returned a directed verdict for breach in favor of plaintiff for the full amount of claim.
Ct. Rationale: The county had no right to rescind the contract and the provided notice was the breach. The plaintiffs owed a duty not to increase the injury/damages therefrom. Measurement should be for labor and materials expended and expense incurred prior to repudiation, plus the profit realized if the contract had been carried out to term.