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Acme Mills & Elevator Co. v. Johnson

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    Bloomberg Law

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Acme Mills (Plaintiff) sued Johnson (Defendant) for breach of contract, but the Plaintiff could not recover because it had benefited from the Defendant’s breach.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The measure of damages is Contract Price – Market Price at the time and place of delivery. 

    Facts.

    Johnson failed to deliver wheat to Acme Mills at the agreed upon time, but Acme Mills actually benefited because the contract price at the time and place of delivery was higher than the market price, so they would have been paying too much for the wheat.  Acme brought suit to recover the damages, and the lower court held it was entitled to any because it had actually benefited from the breach.

    Issue.

    What is the proper measure of damages for a breach of contract involving goods?

    Held.

    Affirmed.  “In contracts for delivery of personal property at a fixed time and at a designated place, the vendee is entitled to damages against the vendor for a failure to comply and the measure of damages is the difference between the contract price and the market price at the time and place of delivery.”  Acme Mills was not entitled to damages.

    Dissent.

    None.

    Concurrence.

    None.

    Discussion.

    The Plaintiff could not recover because it had benefited from the breach: it would have lost money on the contract but didn’t because the Defendant failed to deliver the wheat and the Plaintiff didn’t have to pay.


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