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Armstrong v. Bangor Mill Supply Corp - 128 Me. 75

Rule:

The law implies an undertaking on the part of one contracting to do repair work, to perform the work in a reasonably skillful and workmanlike manner.

Facts:

Plaintiff Stillman Armstrong, a mill owner, sent a broken crankshaft to defendant Bangor Mill Supply for repairs. The mill owner further alleged that, in making the repairs, defendant's workmen left the shaft out of alignment, necessitating its return for realignment. Plaintiff's mill was shut down six days with resultant loss of earnings and expenses of maintenance. Stillman Armstrong subsequently filed an action in assumpsit against defendant machine shop owner based upon an implied warranty to perform labor in a workmanlike manner. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.  Defendant moved for new trial.

Issue:

Did a mill supply repairer have an obligation to perform a repair work in a workmanlike manner?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The motion for new trial was overruled, concluding that the evidence was sufficient to support the plaintiff's claims. In defendant's contract to repair the crankshaft, the law implied an undertaking on its part to perform the work in a reasonably skillful and workmanlike manner. The jury was justified in finding that defendant's undertaking was not fulfilled. The damages awarded were not excessive. Wages, fuel, board of men and horses, and other fixed operating charges continued through the shutdown period. The mill, with an established business yielding regular profits, was impeded in its efficient operation by defendant's failure to fulfill the obligations impliedly imposed by its contract.

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