Air Terminal Servs. v. United States

165 Ct. Cl. 525

 

RULE:

The regulation of traffic and parking by defendant through the use of parking meters is primarily a public and general act of sovereignty performed for the public good.

FACTS:

Plaintiff, a concession operator at airports, entered into a contract with defendant, the United States. The contract granted plaintiff a concession to operate an automobile parking business at the Washington National Airport. Plaintiff brought suit to recover damages alleging that defendant breached the contract by installing, without plaintiff's consent, a number of parking meters on streets of the airport; thereby breaching an implied warranty not to substantially alter the pre-existing factual basis under which plaintiff entered into the contract.

ISSUE:

Did defendant breach an implied warranty not to substantially alter the pre-existing factual basis under which plaintiff entered into the contract when defendants installed, without plaintiff's consent, a number of parking meters on streets of the airport?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court concluded that the regulation of traffic and parking by defendant through the use of parking meters at the Washington National Airport was primarily a public and general act of sovereignty performed for the public good, and was not arbitrary and unreasonable so as to remove it from the category of sovereign acts that do not constitute breaches of implied terms in the contracts of the United States. Accordingly, plaintiff was not entitled to recover, and its petition was dismissed.

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