ihttrdebed. ':But it :i8 be obsel'vedthat all these unusual and excOi1\!itlons'which are relied, upon to carry notice to the 'City"of the dwg-el'Oul!lJ 'character of the obstructions in,th<estreet, inay likewise' upon to carry notice to plaintiff of the dangei'sl'he might' naturally expect. "Fol!, as the Bupreme:court said in the Chase the city "is bound to exeroise only ordinary care, take reasonably to be required and adequate invfew of the 'ordinary exigencies." " The conditions set forth in 1:he exceptional and rare. A fall of four feet of snow in 'oM storm' rare,eV'en in this se'Ction. Is the city bound to remove !fourfoot:of sJ1owfrom even'" itf! prineipal ,thoroughfares? There are many ll'U.clHn Toledo, and theyareo of great length. The court may tll:tre' judiCial notice of such facts. It would be a hardship to- impose upon the taxpayers, through their city authorities, the burden Of snow and ice reSulting from such a storm within 'So short a ;i · , ' , ' The'averment in the petition is that the accident was caused because it wasliecessltrY, (for plaintiff) to pass around a car of the Toledo Consolidated Street-Railway Company, standing on its track on Cherry street It is not averred that this car had stood there for a'long time;' or would be compelled tostllnd there for a long time, 'SOils to show the necessity to drive around I think, in the ab'!!lence' of such 'aln averm.ent, the court iswarrafited in assuming that it was a stop 00' take' on or discharge a I, think this assumption ought to be tebutted by: an affirmative allegation which wOllld show' some negligence or act tending· to establish negligence 0Il, part of ,such (iefendant, because the storm whi.ch left to five feet of Snow on the street Impose upon plamtiffm()re care lind caution in drivingabollt the streets. In such a condition of the street, travel might be substantially suspended, arid 'persons WllO petsisted trying to drive oyer such ,snow batiks would be charged with notice, and to obseI"\Te more than ordinary cate,'" the driving out of the way to avoid a street 'Car only stopping 'for a moment would not be "necessary." For these reasons, I do not think the petition states facts nee ssary to out a case, and the demurrer will therefore be susi
LAWRENCE et al. v. PORTER et at. (CircuIt Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. May 28, 1894.) No. 122.
DAMAGEB-CONT:Bi\O'l' FOR. SALE OF TO DELIVER.
'.On l\ contrll,¢tfor sale of goods on credit, where the seller refuses to dethem, b1,J.t offers to deliver fot cash at a reduced price, the reductlon' more thaI!. equalizing the interest, for the term of 'credit, the buyer, ,not,alleging InabilitY to pay cash, but that he was unable to obtain the goods from others tllan. the seller at the place of delivery or other avail,able mlj.rkef, cannot recover damages on the ground that he had bollght for resale at another place at an advance over the contract price and' cost ()f transportation, and the seller was informed of that purpose.
LAWRENCE ·· PORTER.·
In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for tJie Western District of Michigan. , This was an action by Ida A. Lawrence and Frank Lawrence, administrators of the estate of Lorenzo J. Bovee, against William T.Porter, Charles L. Ames, and Abel H. Frost. - At the trial the court directed the jury to find for defendants. Judgment for defendants was entered on the verdict. Plaintiffs brought error·.
Bundy & Travis, for plaintiffs in error. Walpole Wood and Taggart, Knappen & Denison, for defend· ants in error. Before TAFT and LURTON, Circuit Judges. LURTON, Circuit Judge. This is an action for lireach of a contractof sale brought by the buyers against the sellers for failure to delivera large quantity of lumber according to the terms of the agreement. The lumber was to be delivered by the defendants at their mill,on vessels to be furnished by the plaintiffs, during the shipping season of 1890. As each cargo was received, the buyer was to give acceptances, payable in 90 days. After the delivery of one cargo, the defendants refused, for no sufficient reason, to deliver the remainder upon the terms of the bargain, but offered to supply the lumber needed to complete the bill at a reduction of 50 cents on each 1,000 feet, for cash on delivery over the rail of plaintiffs' vessels and at the time when delivery was required by the broken agreement. The buyers stood upon their contract, and demanded delivery upon the credit therein stipulated, and refused to take the lumber offered by the delinquent sellers on any other terms than those contained in the agreement. There was evidence tending to show that the quantity and quality of lumber contracted for, and of the dimensions designated, could not be procured at the place of delivery from others than the defendants, or at any other available market in time for shipment according to the terms of the contract; that the lumber was intended for resale at Tonawanda, N. Y.; that defendantS' were so informed; and that the market value of such lumber at Tonawanda, after deducting freight and hauling, was considerably above the contract price. The evidence of the plaintiffs established that the defendants were able to comply with their proposal to deliver the lumber required by the agreement during the period fixed for delivery in the agreement. This makes it unnecessary to consider the plaintiffs' assignment of error to the ruling of the court that the burden of proof was on the plaintiffs to show that defendant.s could not have complied with their offer to.fill out the bill for cash at a reduced pl'ice. There was a jury and verdict for the defendants in compliance with a charge to that effect. The case must turn upon the error assigned upon the charge ot the court, the other errors assigned being immaterial. The view of the circuit court upon the question of law upon which this caJ;re in its present attitude must turn, as expressed in the rul-
ingsand' .is well summarized in the concluding paragrapli taken from the charge: "In this· case ,the: court, is ot the opinion that upon:' the case made by the
pll4ntlP\ has established a breach of contract, yet the evidence shows t;hat the defendants offered 1:9 furnish the identical articles contracted for ata price not greater than the. contract price, and so no legal damage has resulted to the plaintiff in Consequence of the breach of the contract, and for that reason the plaintiff is not 'entitled to recover. This being the judgment of the court, as a matter of law upon the facts, as the plaintiff claims them.to be, there remains only the 'dllty ot rendering a verdict for the defendants·"
The general rule is that, for a breach of contract to deliver goods under an executory contract of sale, .the IJ;leasure of recovery is the difference between the contract price and the market value at the of delivery at the time the contract was broken. If the goods cannot be' procured at the place of delivery, then resort must be had to the nearest avai!J.ablemarket. Tower Co. v. Phillips, 23 Wall. 471. The damage thus measured is the ordinary and usual damage to such a breach, and iBrecoverable'under a declaration which simply sets out the contract and the breach. Plaintiffs' declaration contains the usual common-law counts. Under the practice in Michigan; the defendants demanded from the plaintiffs a bill of particulars, setting out the. particu}.ar damages they had sustained. The bill wall delivered, but it did not show any damages other' than the general damages recoverable under a general count. It is true that a plaintiff is not always limited to the recovery of general damages. There may be such special circumstances as will entitle him to recover special damages, "which are such as are a natural and proximate· consequence of the breach, although not in general following as its immediate effects." But, if the plaintiff has sustai;ned other dama'ges than those which usually flow from an ordinary breach of such a contract, he must in his pleading particu. larize special loss, so that the defendant may prepare himself with evidence to meet such unusual claim. Benj. Sales, § 870; Parsons v. Sutton,. 66 N. Y. 96; Barrow v. Aruaud, 8 Q. B. 604. Neither the declaration nor the bill of partiCUlars sets out or par· ticularizes special damages sustained by plaintiffs. They are therefore limited to "general damages," which, for such a breach as the one declared on, are measured by the difference between what they had agreed to pay and the sum for which they could have supplied themselves with lumber of .the .same character at the place of delivery, or, if not obtainable there, then at the nearest available market, plus any freight resulting from the breach. In case of such breach, the plaintiffs are entitled only to indemnity in a sum equal to the loss they have sustained as a consequence. Hence it resUlts -that if the plaintiffs are able to replace the goods by others, bought at a less or equal price at the place of delivery, or other near and available market, they have sustained no loss, and are entitled at best to nothing more than nominal damages. Neither the declaration nor bill of particulars alleges any inability to pay cash, as demanded by the defendants. We do not, therefore, consider whether special damages might not, under some circum-
stances, be recovered, which were sustained by reason of the inability of plaintiffs to pay cash for lumber to replace that which defendants had contracted to sell them on credit. It follows that if plaintiffs were able to buy, and did not, they cannot throw upon the defendants any special losses incident to their own failure to mitigate the injury as far as they reasonably could. Sedg. Dam. (8th Ed.) § 741; Marsh v. McPherson, 105 U. S.709; Warren v. Stoddart, Id.224. The ground upon which the defendants refused to carry out the sale was ostensibly their unwillingness to extend to the plaintiffs the credit of 90 days provided for in the agreement of sale. They have not endeavored to show that there were any circumstances which justified this breach of the agreement. Credit is often a material element in a contract of sale, whereby the buyer is enabled to operate upon the capital of the seller. Credit extended without interest is, in effect, a sale at the stipulated price less the interest for the period of credit. The damage for a breach of contract to pay money at a particular date is the lawful rate of interest for the period of default, unless some other penalty is imposed by the agreement. So it would seem that if the buyer, in order to supply himself with the articles which the seller was obligated to sell, is compelled to buy from another, and to pay cash, one element of recovery for the breach would be interest upon his purchase for the period of credit. It is the well-settled duty of the buyer, when the seller refuses to deliver the goods contracted for, to do nothing to aggravate his injury. Indeed, he must do all that he reasonably can to mitigate the loss. If the buyer could have supplied himself with goods of like kind, at the place of delivery or other available market, at the time the contract was broken, and neglected to do so, whereby he suffered special damages by reason of the breach, he will not be suffered to recompense himself for such special damage, for the reason that to that extent he has needlessly aggravated the loss. The contention of the plaintiffs is that they could not supply themselves at the time the contract was broken with lumber of the qualities and sizes mentioned in their contract, either at the place of delivery or at any other available market; that they were not required to buy from the defendants, who were already in default; that to have bought from them would operate both to encourage breaches of contracts, and would have been a waiver of all other right of recovery for the breach of their agreement; that to have accepted the proposal of the defendants to supply them for cash at the reduced price would simply have been to substitute one contract for another, thereby enabling defendants to escape all liability for a deliberate and indefensible violation of the bargain. They therefore insist that the measure of damage was the difference between the contract price and the market value at Tonawanda, N. Y., less freights to that point; the evidence showing that the lumber was bought for resale at Tonawanda, and that defendants were informed of that purpose. For a breach of contract of sale, the law imposes no damages by way of punishment. The innocent party is simply entitled to fav.63F.no.1-5
co:verJiis real loss. If the 'market value i$,.le/'ls than the contract . price,.. the buyer has sustained no loss. .;This Is axiomatic,' and needs no citation of authority. ; ,It the plaintiffs 'could have bought at EMtJordan, 01'; at any other. convenient 9J.ld available market,at the itime of the breach, lumber of like kinds, at the same. price or a; ,less price, it would be Clear that they would have sustained no general damages. If they refused. to avail themselves of such opportunity, and thereby sustained special and unusual loss, by reason'of'inot having lumber of· the kinds called for by the contract, or by being deprived of a profit resulthlg from a resale at TonaW!tllda, they could not recover such special. damage, .for such damage'might have been avoidedlby replacing the undelivered. lumber by other of like kinds. The fact that they .could only buy from the defebdants does 11-ot affect the: duty of plaintiffs to minjmize their Idss·asfaras they reasonably. could. The offer to sell for cash at a reduceiiprice more than equalized the interest for 90 days, which was the Talue of credit. There seems to 'be no insurmountable objectioniIL thus permitting'8, delinquent .contractor to minimize his loss. ·'.The obligation on thebnyer to mitigate his loss, by reason refusal to carry out such a sale, is not relaxed because of the deHnquent seller affords the only opportunity for such reduction of the buyer's damage. Warren v. S,toddart, 105 U. S. 224:; Deere v. Lewis,51 Ill. 254:. In Warren v. Stoddart, above cited, the essential facts were these: Stoddart & 00. were publishers of an edition of the Encyclopaedia It was a book sold only by subscription. Certain territory\Vas assigned to the plaintiff, in· which he was to have the exclusiverright to sell the 'book on subscription. He was to have the book on a credit Of 30 days"thus enabling him to deliver it to his subscribers, and obtain the means to., make his own payments. Warren obtained a large number of subscriptions to Stoddart's After delivering a few numbers, he ceased to canvass for the 8toddartpublicati011-, ahd became a canvasser for a rival edition. Thereupon Stoddart refused· to extend further credit to Warren,· and demanded cashon all his orders to supply his subscribers "for the Stoddart edition. Warren demanded credit, and refused to pay cash. Being unable to get the Stoddart edition from any other S()urce,he, at great. expense to himself, substituted the Scotch, or rival edition; With which he furnished his subscribers for Stoddart's edition. For the loss thus sustained he sued. After discussing the effect upon Warren's contract, because of his ceasing to canvass for Stoddart and taking up a rival work, the court proceeded to decide the case upon the second ground of defense present" ed, saying:
"But, even,concedhlg that referred torematned in force after Warren had declined to go on under the 'Contract, it does not follow' that, upon the refusal of Stoddart to give Warren a credit of thirty days upon the books,' the latter cpuld obtain, a cancellation of the orders he had taken for Stoddart's reprint, and substitute orders for the Scotch edition, and charge the expense of so doing w Stoddart. The claim that. upon a flimple refusal of Stoddart to allow him a fhirty-dl1;)'s credit upon the books as he ordered them,; he could ,go on and substitute other orders for another book, auu
LAWRENCE '11. PORTER.
-charge Stoddart with the expense 01' subStitution, amounting to $30iOOO, is, to say the least,a remarliable. one. The damage sustained by Warren .because he did not get the credit which he 'thinks he w,asentitled to is not to be measured in that way. The rule is that where a party is enti· tied to the benefit of a· contract, and can save himself 1'rom a loss arising :from a breach of it at a trifling expense or with reasonable exertions, it is his duty to do it, and he can charge the delinquent with such damages only as with reasonable endeavors and expense he could not prevent. Wicker v. Hoppock, 6 Wall. 94; Miller v. Mariner's Church, 7 Me. 51; Russell v. Butterfield, 21 Wend. 300; U. S. v. Burnham, 1 Mason, 57, Fed. Cas. No. 14,690; 'Taylor v. Read, 4 Paige, 561. The course pursued by 'Warren was not necessary to his own protection. He might have paid Stoddart .cash for the books required to fill his orders, or have allowed Stoddart to the orders and divide the profits of the business between them, on equitable terms. The law required him to take that course by which he could secure himself with the least damage to the defendant in error. Instead of this, he unnecessarily destroys a valuable interest of Stoddart in the business in which they were jointly engaged, and then seeks to charge him with the great expense and damage which he brought on himself in so doing. If Stoddart violated his contract with Warren in refusing to fill his orders except for cash, the measure of Warren's damages would be the interest for thirty days on the amount of cash paid on his orders. As no proof was given to show that Warren had ever paid cash for any books ordered by him, he would only be entitled, in any view of the case, to nominal damages/' ,
The opinion in Warren v. Stoddart rests upon the theory that the buyer does not surrender or J'ield any right of action he may have for the breach, ·of contract. It rests wholly ,upon the duty of mitigating the .loss by replacing the goods by others, if they are obtainable by reasonable exertion. If this be such as to require him to buy from the, delinquent seller; if the article can be obtained only from him, or because he offers it cheaper than it can be obtained from others, such a purchase from the seller is not ,the abandonment of the original contract by the substitution of another, nor would the purchase operate to the seller's advantage, save in so far as the damage resulting from his bad faith was thereby reduced. If the seller offers to sell for cash at a reduced price, or to sell for a less price than the market price, though in excess of the contract price, with the condition that it should operate as a of the original contract, or of any right of action for its breach, then the buyer would not be obligated to treat with the seller, nor would the seller's offer, if rejected, operate as a reduction of damages. The case of Deere v. Lewis, cited above, was a case much like the one under consideration. The goods could be procured only from the defendant, who offered the goods for cash at 5 per cent. less than the contract price. It was held that plaintiff could recover only nominal damages, inasmuch as he could have bought the goods for less than the contract price from the delinquent seller. The cases of Havemyer v. Cunningham. 35 Barb. 515, and Manufacturing Co. v. Randall (Iowa) 17:K. W. 507, have been cited as sustaining a ditfeI'ent result. 'fhe first case rested upon a state of facts very unlike those here involved. The other seems to have gone off upon the apprehension that, if the buyer supplied himself bv a pUI'chasefrom thp dplinqnent seller, he thereby abandoned ills contract; and substituted a newagI'ceinent in place of the
broken bargain; ,That apprehension seems unjustified. But, however that may be,)he case of Warren v, Stoddart is controlling. The offer after the breach by the defendants to sell the lumber necessary to the contract was not coupled with anycondi· tiolloperating 8.a'anabandonment of the contract, nor as a waiver of. any right .of ,action for damages for the breach. The question as to whether th,ere was error in not directing a verdict for nominal damages was not presented by any exception in the circuit court, nor raised by any assignment of error here. :We do not, therefore, consider' it. Judgment
WESTERN UNION TEL.
, (Circuit Court. E.D. Missouri, E. D.
July. 9, 1894.)
MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONg..;,OPERATION 'Oll"ORDINANClf AS CONTRACT-ERECTION OF TELEGRA.PHPOLESIN STREET;'
A city ordinance, authoriZing. tbe eirection of telegraph poles in the streets, required any compan.v erecting, poles under 'Its provision to tile an agreement permitting the city to use "the top cross arm of any pole or is now erected,"for telegraph purposes, free of charge. A. company which had pr(Wlously its poles In the streets filed the agreement required, and thereafter a.cqJlired and erected additional poles, and the city used many of the old and new poles. Held, that the ordi· nance, so accepted by thecompanY,constituted a contract between the city and the company, Wbich became executed when the city took the benefit thereof by using the poles; and the subsequent imposition by the city of'a certain charge ,per pole for the use of the streets was a violation of the contract. Such ordinance reserved to the city the right toprescrlt>e any other mode of conduc,ting the wires over or under its thoroughfares. Held, that this di,d not destroy the mutuality of the contract.
BAME-MuTUALITY OF CONTRACT.
SAME-RENTAL VALUE OF USE OF STREETS FOR POLES.
A city ordinance required a payment; in the nature of a rental, for the use of its streets by a telegraph company's poles, Of five dollars per pole. Held that, although such ordinance was prima facie reasonable, that was no presumption that the amqunt of the charge was reasonable; and such sum, being enormously greater than the value of the average adjoining property, was unreasonable to exorbitancy.
This was a:p. action of assumpsit by the city of St. Louis against the Western Union Telegraph Oompany. A trial by jury was waived, and the case was submitted on an agreed statement of facts, on which the circuit court rendered judgment for defendant. 39 Fed. 59. On writ of error, the judgment was reversed by the supreme court, and a new trial was ordered. 13 Sup. Ot.485, 148 U. S. 92; 13 Sup. Ot. 990, 149 U. S. 465. The case was heard on the agreed statement of facts and additional evidence. William O. Marshall, for plaintiff. Dickson & Smith, for defendant. PHJLIPS, District Judge. This is an action of assumpsit, insti· tuted April 7, 1888, to recover the sum of $22,635, under Ordinance