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Kenford Company, Inc. v. County of Erie

67 N.Y.2d 257 (1986)

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Kenford Company, Inc. v. County of Erie

New York Court of Appeals

67 N.Y.2d 257 (1986)

Facts

The County of Erie (defendant) entered into a contract with Kenford Company, Inc., (plaintiff) and Dome Stadium, Inc., (DSI) (plaintiff) in 1969 for the construction of a domed-stadium facility near Buffalo, New York. Under the contract, Kenford and DSI were required to begin construction within 12 months, and the parties were required to negotiate toward a mutually agreeable 40-year lease. The contract also stated that if the parties could not agree on the lease, then the parties would enter into a 20-year management contract providing that DSI would operate the facility. Despite extensive negotiations, the parties failed to reach an agreement on the lease, and Kenford and DSI did not construct the stadium. Kenford and DSI sued Erie for breach of contract. During the trial, DSI presented extensive expert and economic evidence regarding expected profits from operating the stadium for 20 years. DSI’s witnesses used the Astrodome in Houston as a basis for comparison. After trial, the jury returned with a multimillion-dollar verdict for Kenford and DSI. Erie appealed, and the appellate division reduced the damages award by reversing the portion of the damages award to DSI related to lost profits over 20 years for operating the stadium. DSI appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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