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Law School Case Brief

Bush v. Canfield - 2 Conn. 485 (1818)


An application for a new trial is to the discretion of the court, who ought to exercise that discretion in such manner as will best answer the ends of justice; and where "]complete and substantial justice has been done, the court will not send the cause down to be re-tried on a technical objection in point of law.


Plaintiffs Bush and Norton ("Buyers") entered into a contract in writing with defendant Canfield for the purchase and delivery superfine wheat flour. Pursuant to the contract, the Buyers advanced part of the purchase price. When the flour was not delivered, the Buyers filed a breach of contract action in Connecticut state court. The trial court held that the Buyers were entitled to damages in the amount of the sum advanced to Canfield, with interest from the time that the sum was paid. Canfield sought review and a new trial, arguing that the measure of damages ought to be the value of the flour at the time and place that the contract was to be performed, and not the money advanced. 


Should the court grant Canfield a new trial?




The court refused to grant a new trial. The court concluded that because the Buyers were disappointed in their arrangements and Canfield had neglected his duty and retained the Buyers' money, without consideration, Canfield was required to refund the money advanced to him by the Buyers. According to the court, the judgment for the Buyers was just.

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