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Kilarjian v. Vastola

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Kilarijian sued the Vastolas for specific performance of a contract after Mrs. Vastola’s spinal muscular atrophy worsened and moving away from her home would accelerate her condition.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Specific performance should not be granted if it causes injustice or hardship.

    Facts.

    Kilarijian entered into a contract to purchase a home from the Vastolas. After entering into the contract, Mrs. Vastola’s spinal muscular atrophy worsened and her doctor advised her that moving into another home would cause Mrs. Vastola’s death. The Vastolas refused to close on the home and Kilarijian sued for specific performance of the contract. Kilarijian moved for summary judgment.

    Issue.

    Should specific performance be granted if it causes injustice or hardship?

    Held.

    No. The motion for summary judgment is denied. It would be unequitable to require the Vastolas to perform under the contract due to Mrs. Vastola’s health. Kilarijian’s request for specific performance is denied and Kilarijian is entitled to money damages.

    Discussion.

    Specific performance is a remedy available for breach of contract for real estate transactions. Monetary damages are usually not granted to compensate a buyer of real estate, but given the circumstances, the court must determine what remedy should be awarded Kilarijian.


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