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Don v. Trojan Construction Co.

California District Court of Appeal
2 Cal. Rptr. 626 (1960)


Facts

Trojan Construction Company (defendant) owned a commercial lot. Trojan sold the lot to Ad-Mor Enterprises, Inc., which immediately transferred the lot to the Dons (plaintiffs). The Dons planned to build a supermarket on the lot. After the purchase, however, the Dons were forced to postpone the construction, leaving the lot vacant for a period of time. Trojan was also building a subdivision near the Dons’ lot. Trojan asked Ad-Mor for permission to store large quantities of dirt on the Dons’ lot. Ad-Mor granted its permission. Trojan was unaware that Ad-Mor had transferred the lot to the Dons. Trojan used the Dons’ lot for dirt storage for approximately 10 months. The Dons sued Trojan for the occupation of the lot without the Dons’ consent. The trial court found that the average rental value of the lot during the occupation was $550 per month. The Dons testified at trial that they would not have rented out the lot had they been asked, but that they did not plan to make use of the lot, either. The trial court awarded the Dons only nominal damages. The Dons appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Devine, J.)

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