Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

Facto v. Pantagis

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Plaintiff sued Defendant for breach of contract to recover his prepayment to hold a wedding reception at Defendant’s banquet hall when a power outage caused the lights and the air conditioner to shut off. The contract included a force majeure clause, which excused Defendant’s performance if it was prevented from performing due to an act of God or unforeseen circumstances, including a power failure. The lack of electricity prevented the band, photographer, and videographer from performing their duties. The trial court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Where one party is relieved of its obligation to perform under a contract’s force majeure clause, the other party is also generally relieved of its obligation to perform.

    Facts.

    Leo Facto (Plaintiff) entered into a contract with Snuffy Pantagis Ent., Inc., t/a Defendant Renaissance (Defendant) to hold a wedding reception at Defendant’s banquet hall. Plaintiff made an advance payment of $10,578. The written contract between the parties included a force majeure clause, which excused Defendant’s performance if it was prevented from performing due to an act of God or unforeseen circumstances, including a power failure. About forty-five minutes after Plaintiff’s reception began, a power failure caused the lights and the air conditioner to shut off. The lack of electricity prevented the band, photographer, and videographer from performing their duties. The reception was held on a hot and humid day, leaving guests extremely uncomfortable in the absence of an air conditioner. After several hours, Defendant requested that the police evacuate the banquet hall. Plaintiff subsequently brought a breach of contract action to recover the prepayment of $10,578. The trial court found that the force majeure clause precluded Plaintiff’s claim and dismissed the complaint.

    Issue.

    Whether one party is relieved of its obligation to perform when the other party is relieved of its obligation to perform under a contract’s force majeure clause.

    Held.

    Yes. The trial court’s ruling is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings. Where one party is relieved of its obligation to perform under a contract’s force majeure clause, the other party is also generally relieved of its obligation to perform.

    Discussion.

    Here, the force majeure clause states that a power failure is a type of circumstance that would excuse Defendant’s performance under the contract. Thus, Defendant’s inability to provide Plaintiff with a reception as a result of the power failure is excused and does not constitute a breach. However, Defendant’s inability to perform relieves Plaintiff of his obligation to pay the contract price. Plaintiff is thus entitled to recover the $10,578.00 prepayment.


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following