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Bulley& Andrews, Inc. v. Symons Corp.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Bulley& Andrews, Inc. (Bulley) sued to recover expenses from Symons Corp. (Symons) in accord with a contract to build on the Symons property.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The parol evidence rule does not prohibit parties from introducing evidence that a contract was modified by the way the parties carried out the agreement.

    Facts.

    Bulley& Andrews, Inc. (Bulley) entered a contract with Symons Corp. (Symons) to build on the Symons property. The contract stipulated that Symons would supply Bulley with equipment for Bulley’s concrete work on the property, and when Bulley submitted a claim to recover the expense that the equipment caused, Symons refused to pay, Bulley sued. The trial court granted judgment to Symon.

    Issue.

    Whether the parol evidence rule prohibits parties from introducing evidence that a contract was modified by the way the parties carried out the agreement?

    Held.

    No. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Bulley consented to the equipment provided by Symon and is not entitled to any extra payment not set out in the contract.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    To recover additional compensation from an owner for extra work on a construction contract, a contractor must prove that: (1) the work was outside the scope of the construction contract; (2) the extra items were ordered by the owner; (3) the owner agreed to pay extra, either by his words or conduct; (4) the extras were not furnished by the contractor as his voluntary act; and (5) the extra items were not rendered necessary by any fault of the contractor.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    The parol evidence rule does not prohibit parties from introducing evidence that a contract was modified by the way the parties carried out the agreement. If a contract is ambiguous about contract terms, then the court may turn to the parties’ actions to clear up the ambiguous terms.


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