Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,500+ case briefs...

Lonsdale v. Chesterfield

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc
662 P.2d 385 (1983)


In 1968, Chesterfield Land, Inc. (Chesterfield) (defendant), a land developer, developed a community known as Sansaria (defendant) on the Oregon coast. Chesterfield then sold 81 plots in the development to various purchasers via real estate contracts. In each of these contracts, Chesterfield agreed to install a water system for use of the plot. In turn, each purchaser agreed to pay a portion of the installation and use of the water system. Chesterfield later sold some of its vendor’s interest in these real estate contracts to investors, including Lonsdale (plaintiff). The investors received an assignment of Chesterfield’s interest in the plots as well as a deed to the land corresponding to the real estate contract. The purpose of providing the investors with the deed was to enable them to secure payment of any outstanding balance on the real estate contract. In 1969, Jack Chesterfield, owner of Chesterfield, died. His widow sold the remaining undeveloped portion of the development to Sansaria. Sansaria took on Chesterfield’s obligation to install a water system on each plot, including the portion of Chesterfield’s obligation that was already sold via the real estate contracts. Despite this arrangement, neither Chesterfield nor Sansaria ever completed installation of the water systems. As a result, many of the purchasers of the plots through the real estate contracts defaulted. Several obtained judgments against Chesterfield and Sansaria. As a result of these judgments, the investors’ interests in the property (including the interest of Lonsdale) became worthless. Lonsdale and the other investors brought suit in Washington state court against Chesterfield, seeking to recover for Chesterfield’s failure to install the water system. Lonsdale and the other investors also sued Sansaria on the ground that they were third party beneficiaries of the contract between Chesterfield and Sansaria whereby Sansaria assumed Chesterfield’s obligation to install water systems. The trial court concluded that Lonsdale and the investors were not third party beneficiaries and dismissed the case. After several appeals on other issues, Lonsdale and the other investors now raise the issue of whether they are third party beneficiaries on appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Williams, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,500 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial