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Smith v. Warr

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.564 P.2d 771 (Utah 1977)

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff contracted to buy property from Defendant. The contract provided that special warranty deed was to be passed upon full payment, but before that event occurred, Defendant was sued for adverse possession of the property and lost to the third party adverse possessors.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. This court held that the measure of damages where the vendor has breached a land sale contract is the market value of the property at the time of the breach less the contract price to the vendee.


Facts. Plaintiff, a buyer of property according to Uniform Real Estate Contracts, contracted to buy property from Defendant. The contract provided that special warranty deed was to be passed upon full payment, but before that event occurred, Defendant seller was sued for adverse possession of the property in question, which Defendant lost to the third party adverse possessors. Plaintiff was thereafter awarded damages of only out-of-pocket loss and both attorneys’ fees and costs were denied. The Plaintiff is appealing, claiming that the lower court erred by not awarding benefit of the bargain damages (which is the market value of the property at the time of breach less the amount of unpaid purchase money, where some of the purchase money had been paid.)

Issue. Is the buyer entitled to benefit of the bargain damages due to the seller’s breach?
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