Missouri Furnace Co. v. Cochran

8 F. 463, 1881 U.S. App. LEXIS 2369



When contracts for the sale of chattels are broken by the vendor failing to deliver, the measure of damages is the difference between the contract price and the market value of the article at the time it should be delivered. 


A coal supplier entered into a contract with a buyer to sell coal at $1.20 per ton. The supplier supplied some of the goods, but then notified the buyer that they would no longer complete delivery. The supplier then sold the coal to another company for $4.00 per ton. The district court instructed the jury to measure the damages based on the market value, and not on the contract price. The buyer appealed the decision to measure the damages based on the market value and not on the contracted value. 


Was the instruction given to the jury to determine damages erroneous? 




The court affirmed the district courts decision on the correct amount of damages awarded to the buyer and denied the buyer's motion for a new trial.

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