Under contract law, a breach occurs when a party fails, without legal excuse, to perform a promise that forms a whole or part of a contract.
Defendant corporation challenged a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (Ohio) judgment in favor of plaintiffs, a husband and wife, and third-party defendant subcontractor, on claims arising from the construction of a home. The trial court found in the husband and wife's favor on their breach of contract claim and against the corporation on its third-party claims for breach of contract and indemnity, awarding the husband and wife $ 62,997.26. The husband and wife had contracted with the corporation to construct their home. The dispute arose over two batches of siding applied to the home, installed by the subcontractor, that were stained differently. The parties did not dispute that the evidence established that the corporation fell below local industry standards in constructing a house with siding of such disparate color. Because the siding did not conform to industry standards, the corporation breached its implied duty to perform in a workmanlike manner. The corporation argued that the trial court erred in awarding damages based on the cost to replace the mismatched siding instead of the difference in the market value of the house as contracted for and as received.
Did the trial court err in awarding damages based on the cost to replace the mismatched siding instead of the difference in the market value of the house as contracted for and as received?
The appeals court disagreed. The trial court awarded the cost to replace the siding because it determined that damages based on loss of market value could not fully compensate the husband and wife. Because the purpose of the contract was the construction of a custom-built home with the aesthetics they desired, the corporation's failure to achieve those aesthetics warranted an award of damages that would allow them to correct the defect. The judgment was affirmed.