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Bachewicz v. American National Bank& Trust Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Bachewicz sued American National Bank & Trust Co. (American) for breach of contract when American made an agreement to sell real property and breached the agreement by refusing to sell.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Damages are calculated by a property’s fair market value at the time of the breach if a seller breaches a contract for the sale of real property.

    Facts.

    Bachewicz offered to buy a building held in trust by American National Bank & Trust Co. (American), and American agreed to sell. American breached the agreement before closing, by refusing to sell. Bachewicz sued American for breach of contract and the trial court granted judgment to Bachewicz.

    Issue.

    Whether damages are calculated by a property’s fair market value at the time of the breach if a seller breaches a contract for the sale of real property?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. The trial court erred by considering the property’s resale price. Damages should have been calculated by using the property’s fair market value at the time of the breach.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    Lost profits will be allowed only if: their loss is proved with a reasonable degree of certainty; the court is satisfied that the wrongful act of the defendant caused the loss of profits; and the profits were reasonably within the contemplation of the defaulting party at the time the contract was entered into.

    View Full Point of Law
    Dissent.

    (Jiganti, J.) Fair market value is relative and the trial court’s resolution was reasonable. The value of real estate varies depending on the expert.

    Discussion.

    Damages are calculated by a property’s fair market value at the time of the breach if a seller breaches a contract for the sale of real property.


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