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Mineral Park Land Co. v. Howard

Supreme Court of California
156 P. 458 (1916)


Facts

Mineral Park Land Co. (Mineral Park) (plaintiff) owned land in a ravine. Howard (Howard) (defendant) was under contract with the public authorities to construct a bridge over the ravine. Howard and Mineral Park executed a written contract in which Howard agreed to remove all of the gravel and earth necessary to complete construction of the bridge from Mineral Park's property. It was estimated that 114,000 cubic yards would be needed and Howard agreed to a per-cubic-yard payment schedule. Mineral Park brought an action against Howard alleging, inter alia, that Howard had not removed from its property any more than 50,131 cubic yards, and had procured the remaining sand gravel needed to complete the bridge from elsewhere. Howard defended that it removed only 50,131 cubic yards because that was all that was available on Mineral Park's land. The trial court determined that, while Mineral Park had enough gravel and earth to supply Howard, only 50,131cubic yards of it was above the water level and could be extracted without great expense and delay. The trial court, ruling in favor of Mineral Park, found that while Howard's removal of the excess 50,131 cubic yards from the Mineral Park site was financially impracticable, it was not impossible. Howard appealed to the Supreme Court of California.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sloss, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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