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District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District

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Procedural Posture

In a breach of contract action regarding the construction of a dam, defendant contractors appealed from the District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, County of Mariposa (California), which held in favor of plaintiff property owners.

 

Overview: california letter

The property owners brought an action upon an alleged contract between the parties by which the contractors agreed to build a dam across a river sufficiently high to cause the water of the river to flow in ordinary requirements in the ditch owned by the property owners. The property owners paid the first two installments on the project and the contractors proceeded to build the dam. However, before the completion of the labor, all the contractors' work was washed away, and nothing further was done. The complaint averred that the contractors could readily and easily have built the dam afterwards, but had neglected to carry on the work with proper energy and that the property owners were thereby deprived of realizing profits from their ditch. The trial court held in favor of the property owners. The court reversed holding that it ought to have been left to the jury to say whether, under the circumstances of the case, the contractors had employed all reasonable means and diligence to perform their contract. The court ordered a new trial.

 

Outcome

The court reversed the judgment of the trial court, which held in favor of the property owners in their breach of contract action against the contractors regarding the construction of a dam. A new trial was ordered.

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