Law School Case Brief
TexPar Energy v. Murphy Oil USA - 45 F.3d 1111 (7th Cir. 1995)
The general measure of damages in contract cases is the expectancy or "benefit of the bargain" measure. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) itself embraces such a measure in § 1-106, providing that the UCC remedies shall be liberally administered to the end that the aggrieved party may be put in as good a position as if the other party had fully performed.
Defendant seller entered into a contract to sell asphalt to plaintiff buyer, who in turn sold the asphalt to a purchaser. When the price of the asphalt increased, defendant stopped delivery. Eventually, the purchaser made a new contract with defendant for higher price and plaintiff paid the difference in damages. Plaintiff then sued defendant and the trial court awarded damages. On appeal, defendant argued that damages should be limited to plaintiff’s out-of-pocket expenses. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision.
Should award for damages for breach of contract due to defendant seller’s stoppage of delivery be limited plaintiff’s out-of-pocket expenses?
The proper measure of damages was the difference between the market price at the time of breach and the price for the asphalt in the contract, as provided by Wis. Stat. Ann. § 401.713.
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