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Bleckley v. Langston

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.112 Ga. App. 63, 143 S.E.2d 671 (Ct. App. 1965)

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs entered into a contract for the purchase of land. On the following day, an ice storm destroyed a great deal of the property, reducing the value of the land. Plaintiffs notified Defendants that they had elected to rescind the contract and demanded return of the money. Defendants refused to rescind the contract.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The prevailing law in is that the risk of loss is normally on the buyer.


Facts. Plaintiffs entered into a contract for the purchase of land, which had pecan trees on it. They paid $10,000.00 earnest money on December 23, 1963, with the balance of the money due on the purchase price to be paid before February 1, 1964. Defendants were to retain possession until then for the purpose of gathering pecans. On the following day, an ice storm reduced the value of the land. Plaintiffs notified Defendants that they had elected to rescind the contract and demanded return of their money. Defendants stated that they were ready, willing, and able to perform their part of the contract, so they refused to rescind the contract. Defendants claim that the value of the property had been reduced by $32,000.00 as the result of the ice storm. The Plaintiffs sued for return of their money. Defendants filed a cross-claim because Plaintiffs’ failure to consummate the deal had resulted in losses, which were equal to the earnest money plus an additional $22,000.00 for the loss of th
e benefit of the bargain. The court found that the loss of value to the property was without fault of either party and that the contract between the parties did not specify which party would bear the risk of loss.

Issue. Which party bears the risk of loss?
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