The Law School Authority

Ducolon Mechanical Inc. v. Shinstine/Forness Inc. Case Brief

Summary of Ducolon Mechanical Inc.  v. Shinstine/Forness Inc.
Washington Ct. of App. 1995

Facts: PL(Ducolon) a subcontractor won the bid and was hired to install the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning within a new temple, for LDS Church, through Shinstine.  During the bid process Shinstine noticed Ducolon that their bid may contained a mistake.  All other bids were substantially higher than Ducolon.  Ducolon reviewed and kept the existing bid without reviewing the bid calculations.  After Shinstine had extended the completion date, Ducolon’s subcontract was terminated for defective work and remaining behind schedule.  Another company finished the work for $16,000, half resulted from correcting Ducolon’s work.

Issue: 1)Whether Ducolon was entitled to recovered the reasonable value of its services to Shinstine, measured by the contract price minus Shinstine’s cost to complete and repair.

Holding: Yes

Procedure: Trial ct. (bench) dismissed materialman’s lien, found Def wrongfully terminated contract, and PL breached by delay. Neither party prevailed. Affirmed.

Rule: The Party in breach is entitled to restitution for any benefit that he has conferred by way of part performance OR reliance in excess of the loss that he has caused by his own breach.

Ct. Rationale: Shinstine election to disaffirm the contract is irrelevant in calculating the value of the benefit conferred to Shinstine prior to the breach of Ducolon.Offsetting the award, under restitution, is appropriate because the measurement is the benefit conferred to the Shinstine.

PL A: Equitable relief in the form of restitution PL should recover the actual amount of money spent in the partial completion.

Def A: Pl should not be allowed to recover an amount in excess of contract price, when Def, raised the bid error and PL did not amend.

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