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Kenford Co. v. County of Erie

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Citation. 73 N.Y.2d 312, 537 N.E.2d 176, 540 N.Y.S.2d 1, 1989 N.Y. 257

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Kenford Co. entered into a contract with Defendant, County of Erie, to donate land for a new stadium. Plaintiff also owned land in the periphery of the proposed stadium site. When Defendant decided not to build the stadium, Plaintiff sued to recover for the loss of anticipated appreciation in the value of the land that Plaintiff owned in the periphery of the proposed stadium site.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A nonbreaching party is only entitled to damages within the contemplation of the parties at the time of contracting.

Facts. Defendant passed a bond resolution to finance the construction of a stadium near the City of Buffalo. Plaintiff agreed to donate the land for the proposed stadium in exchange for Defendant permitting the management company of Dome Stadium, Inc. (DSI) to lease or manage the facility. At about the time of contract negotiations, Plaintiff exercised options on several parcels of land. The parties formed a contract that provided that Plaintiff would donate 178 acres of land and Defendant would commence construction within 12 months and negotiate a 40-year lease with DSI. Further, Defendant would receive, inter alia, increased property taxes and other tax revenues generated by the peripheral lands owned by Plaintiff. Subsequently, Defendant opted not to build the stadium, and Plaintiff sued to recover its lost appreciation in the value of its peripheral lands.

Issue. Is Plaintiff entitled to recover damages for lost anticipated appreciation in the value of its lands peripheral to the stadium site?
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