Missouri Furnace Company (Plaintiff) sued Cochran (Defendant) for damages from Defendant’s rescission of its contract to deliver 13 tons of coke per day at the price of $1.20 perton.
The measure of damages for a breached contract for a sale of chattels is the difference between the contract price and the market price at the time and place of delivery.
After Defendant notified Plaintiff that he had rescinded the contract, Plaintiff made a similar contract for coke at a cost of $4.00 per ton. The Plaintiff claimed it was entitled to recover the difference between the contract price with the Defendant and the new contract price, but the lower court awarded the Plaintiff the difference between the contract price and the market price on the dates the deliveries were to be made. The Plaintiff moved for a new trial.
What is the proper measure of damages when contracts for sales of chattels are broken?
The motion for a new trial is denied. When a contract for a sale of chattels is broken by the vendor failing to deliver, the measure of damages is the difference between the contract price and the market value of the article at the time it should be delivered.
The Plaintiff was not bound to enter into the new contract, and did so at its own risk. It would have been unfair to assess damages against the Defendant on the basis of the Plaintiff’s new contract.