Acme Mills & Elevator Co. v. Johnson – Case Brief
Acme Mills & Elevator Co. v. Johnson, 141 Ky. 718, 133 S.W. 784 (1911).
Facts: Johnson (D) executed a contract for the sale of 2,000 bushels of wheat at $1.03 per bushel to Acme Mills & Elevator (P). The wheat was to be delivered at Hopkinsville, KY and Acme Mills was to provide the sacks. Johnson failed to deliver and Acme Mills sued for $240 in damages and $80 for the 1,000 sacks supplied to D. D admitted to the $80 due. P’s motion to file an amended complaint showing that D had wrongfully sold his wheat to another mill for $1.16 per bushel was denied. The trial court found for D and P appealed.
Issue: What remedy is the vendee entitled to against the vendor for a failure to comply with a sale of personal property at a fixed time and a designated place?
Holding and Rule: In contracts for the delivery of personal property at a fixed time and at a designated place, the measure of damages is the difference between the contract price and the market price of the property at the time and place of delivery.
When D sold his wheat for a price in excess of the contract price and failed to deliver to P he took a chance of being mulcted in damages for the breach of contract if the market price increased. P was not damaged because the price was lower than the contract price.
Notes: This is an example of an efficient breach of contract. P benefited and profited from D’s breach because the price of wheat had fallen. D benefitted because he was able to sell his wheat for more than the contract price. If the price of wheat had risen above the contract price, D would have been liable to P for damages.