Brief Fact Summary.
Sullivan appealed a trial court judgment that held her liable for construction work that was incomplete when she refused entry to Bullock and his employees.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A condition to cooperate is implied in every contract and one party’s failure to cooperate will excuse the other party’s nonperformance.
Sullivan hired Bullock to remodel her home. During Construction, Sullivan stated that Bullock and his employees were not to enter Sullivan’s home on a particular day. When one of Bullock’s workers entered Sullivan’s home, Sullivan informed Bullock that neither Bullock or Bullock’s employees were welcome in Sullivan’s home. Bullock requested to enter Sullivan’s home to complete the construction work but Sullivan refused. When Bullock sent Sullivan a bill for the construction work that was done, Sullivan refused to pay. Bullock argued that Bullock could have remedied any defects if he was allowed to enter Sullivan’s home. The trial court issued a special verdict to Bullock.
Whether a condition to cooperate is implied in every contract and one party’s failure to cooperate will excuse the other party for nonperformance?
Yes. The jury’s verdict should be upheld. Sullivan refusing Bullock entry excuses Bullock’s nonperformance.
Failure to cooperate constitutes a breach of contract and excuses the other party’s nonperformance. The duty to cooperate in construction cases means allowing the contractor access to the property.