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Cameron v. Benson

Oregon Supreme Court
664 P.2d 412 (1983)


Facts

Scott and Susan Cameron (plaintiffs) contracted to buy land from James and Melba Benson (defendants). However, the Bensons did not follow through with the sale. The Camerons sued the Bensons for specific performance, asking the court to force the Bensons to sell the property to the Camerons. In the alternative, the Camerons asked for money damages. The trial court granted the Camerons’ request for specific performance. The trial court also ruled that, if the Bensons did not sell the property to the Camerons within 2 months, in the alternative, the Camerons would be awarded money damages. These alternative money damages would be calculated using the property’s value at the time of the specific performance award minus the still unpaid portion of the contractual purchase price. The Bensons appealed. The appellate court adjusted the monetary-damages award, basing it on the property’s value when the Bensons breached the contract rather than when the trial court decided the case. Because the property’s value went up by $5,000 between the Bensons’ breach and the trial, the trial court’s award was $5,000 more than the appellate court’s. The Camerons appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Carson, J.)

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