Egerer v. CSR West, LLC
Washington Court of Appeals
116 Wash. App. 645, 67 P.3d 1128 (2003)
Robert Egerer (plaintiff) required fill to make his land suitable for commercial development. CSR West, LLC (CSR) (defendant) was excavating material from nearby roadways. Egerer contracted with CSR to purchase the excavated material for 50 cents per cubic yard. Shortly thereafter, CSR stopped supplying fill to Egerer because it was more profitable to supply it to another party. Egerer did not immediately purchase replacement fill elsewhere because it would have been too expensive and there was insufficient time before the rainy season. Approximately six months later, Egerer obtained quotes for replacement fill ranging from $8.25 to $9.00 per cubic yard, but the prices exceeded his budget. The replacement fill was of a higher quality because shoulder excavation material was hard to find. Two years after CSR’s breach, Egerer purchased fill material resulting from a landslide for $6.39 per cubic yard. He then sued CSR, claiming damages totaling the difference between the contract price and the $8.25 quote he received six months after the breach. He also sought consequential damages for lost rents resulting from the 24-month delay in development. The trial court held that CSR breached the contract. It awarded damages for nondelivery using Egerer’s formula but denied consequential damages. CSR appealed, contending that the court erred in its calculation of damages by relying on the market price of a superior product six months after Egerer learned of the breach.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Becker, C.J.)
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