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Lane v. Oil Delivery, Inc.

New Jersey Superior Court
216 N.J. Super. 413 (1987)


William Lane and Betty Lane (plaintiffs) suffered losses from a fire at their home. The Lanes and the American National Fire Insurance Company (plaintiff) sued Oil Delivery, Inc. (Oil Delivery) (defendant) for damages, including the replacement costs of personalty. At trial, the Lanes provided a list of the replacement costs of each item of personalty. The Lanes testified regarding the value of a cross-section of the items on the list, but did not testify regarding every single item. The Lanes’ specific value estimates were based on Mr. Lane’s experience in buying the items in the past and pricing the items at stores or in newspaper ads, as well as Mrs. Lane’s experience as the owner of a retail clothing store and the supervisor of charity flea markets. The jury awarded damages for personalty by adding together all the values on the list provided by the Lanes. The trial court reduced the award on the ground that the measure of damages was the market value of the personalty at the time of the loss. Oil Delivery appealed, and the Lanes cross-appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Muir, J.)

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