The Law School Authority

Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co. Case Brief

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?

Holding: No.

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.

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