United States v. Hatahley

257 F.2d 920 (10th Cir. 1958)

 

RULE:

The fundamental principle of damages is to restore the injured party, as nearly as possible, to the position he would have been in had it not been for the wrong of the other party.

FACTS:

Appellees filed an action under Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C.S. §§ 1346(b) and 2671 et seq., to recover damages for the loss of horses and burros which they alleged were wrongfully and unlawfully seized and destroyed in the State of Utah by appellants. The district court awarded damages to appellees. Appellants appealed the district court’s decision. The appellate court reversed the district court’s decision and remanded the case for new trial as to damages.

ISSUE:

Was the measure of damages applied by the district court in awarding damages to appellees correct?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The district court failed to apply proper measure of damages which was animals' replacement value, that it improperly determined use value, that equal award to each plaintiff for mental suffering was pure conjecture, and that, on retrial, the district judge should step aside because he was not impartial.

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