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Bomberger v. McKelvey

Supreme Court of California
35 Cal.2d 607 (1950)


John Bomberger and others (plaintiffs) orally agreed to demolish and remove a building on lots owned by D.P. McKelvey and others (defendants) for $3,500. Defendants planned on constructing a grocery store and parking lot on the cleared site. The oral agreement was thereafter confirmed by a letter sent from defendants to plaintiffs. An essential element of the agreement allowed plaintiffs to salvage scarce materials such as plate glass and skylights from the demolished building for use in another structure that plaintiffs were constructing across town. Subsequently, defendants were unable to secure materials for the contemplated grocery store and notified plaintiffs that the demolition project was cancelled. Plaintiffs informed defendants that they planned to proceed with the demolition of the building and collection of the plate glass and skylights regardless. After plaintiffs completed the project and salvaged the items they filed suit against defendants to recover the contract price of $3,500. Defendants filed a counter-claim against plaintiffs seeking damages for trespass and waste. The trial court held for plaintiffs. Defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, C.J.)

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