Lamkins v. Int'l Harvester Co.

207 Ark. 637, 182 S.W.2d 203 (1944)

 

RULE:

Ordinarily when a seller fails to deliver goods within the time agreed upon the buyer is entitled to recover as damages the difference between the contract price and the market price at the time of the breach. Under some circumstances, however, a buyer may recover special or consequential damages resulting from failure to deliver or delay in delivery.

FACTS:

The farmer bought a tractor. He later signed a note for the tractor on the express promise that the dealer shall supply the lights and starter for the tractor. The note was indorsed and negotiated to the company. In the company's suit on the note, he cross-claimed against it and its dealer for special damages based on their failure to deliver him the promised lights and starter needed to use the tractor at night. He claimed he lost crops because of this failure. The trial court held that the facts were not sufficient to submit the issue to the jury and directed a verdict against him for the amount of the note and interest.

ISSUE:

Whether the farmer, who bought a tractor from the dealer, may recover damages for lost crops due to the company’s failure to deliver equipment which would enable the farmer to use the tractor at night.

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Evidence relating to notice and to circumstances indicating any implied agreement by the company or dealer to be liable for special damages was meager, vague, and indefinite. To recover special damages, against the seller, it is necessary that at or before the time of the making of the contract of sale the seller knew of the special circumstances which would expose the buyer to special damages by reason of the delay in delivery, and that such seller at least tacitly consented to assume the particular risks arising from such delay. Here, there was no evidence showing the dealer knew the farmer expected him to assume liability for a crop loss if he failed to deliver the lighting on time. There was no express contract. Finally, there was no proof of damages, which had to be measured on the rental value of the land which was not planted.

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