Boone v. Coe – Case Brief
Boone v. Coe, 153 Ky. 233, 154 S.W. 900 (1913).
Facts: Boone (P) entered into an agreement with Coe (D) whereby Boone would rent Coe’s farm in Texas for 12 months. Coe agreed to provide materials to erect a barn and to have a dwelling house ready upon his arrival. D did not provide the materials and dwelling house as promised and he refused to allow P to cultivate the land. P sued claiming damages of $1387.50. D demurred and asserted that the complaint was without merit under the statute of frauds. P appealed the court’s judgment in favor of D.
Issue: May a party recover damages for breach of a contract that is voidable under the statute of frauds?
Holding and Rule: No. Damages may not be recovered for a breach of a contract that is voidable under to the statute of frauds unless the action is compensable in quantum meruit or falls within exceptions contained in the Statute.
The court held that in this case P merely sustained a loss on his performance of the parol contract. The court held that the contract between D and P was unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds and to require him to pay damages without any benefit incurred would amount to enforcement of the contract. The court overruled McDaniel v. Hutcherson.