Britton v. Turner by aiowmnyv



Page 347

Britton v. Turner, Supreme Court of NH, 1834 Can ∏ recover for partial performance under quantum meruit of a labor K even if he was the breacher? Issue Reasoning
Clearly, he can not recover on whole K because he didn’t perform. Old Rule: if you have a labor K, and don’t complete it, you are entitled to nothing at all – the K must be fully performed in order to recover for any part of the compensation - this is unequal and unjust. Under old rule, If ∏ hadn’t performed, all he’d have to pay is some damages to ∆ to find someone else – but here he loses $95.

The party who contracts for labor merely, for a certain period, does so with full knowledge that he must, from the nature of the case, be accepting part performance from day to day, if the other party commences the performance, and with knowledge also that the other may eventually fail of completing the entire term.

∏, a laborer, contracted to work for ∆ for a period of one year at $10 per months. After 9.5 months, ∏ voluntarily quit and asked for $95.

o o o o o

If a party actually receives labor, or materials, and derives a benefit and advantage, over and above the damage which has resulted from the breach, the labor actually done, and the value received, furnish a new consideration, Then, ∆ must pay for the value of benefit – damages

Apparently, ∆ refused to pay.

where the party receives value--takes and uses the materials, or has advantage from the labor, he is liable to pay the reasonable worth of what he has received o If the nature of the contract is such that the employer can reject what has been done o and refuse to receive any benefit from the part performance, he is entitled so to do, o and in such case is not liable to be charged o unless he has before assented to and accepted of what has been done, however much the other party may have done towards the performance

Held Procedure P argues D argues

Judgment for ∏. Jury verdict in amount of $95. ∆’s defense is “breach of K. ∆ appeals


Page 347

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