New Era Homes Corp. (New Era) (plaintiff), a construction firm, entered into a written agreement with Forster (defendant) to make extensive alterations to Forster’s home. The contract required Forster to pay a total of $3,075, payable through several scheduled payments. According to the contract, $150 was due upon signing the contract, $1,000 was due upon the delivery of materials and starting of work by New Era, $1,500 was due upon completion of rough carpentry and rough plumbing, and $425 was due upon the job being fully completed. New Era began and partially completed the work. Forster made the first two scheduled payments totaling $1,150. New Era then completed the rough carpentry and rough plumbing, and demanded an additional payment of $1,500. Forster refused to make this payment. New Era brought suit in New York state court against Forster, seeking $1,500. At trial, Forster conceded his breach, but argued New Era was not entitled to the $1,500, but rather only to such amount as it could establish by way of actual loss sustained from Forster’s breach. The trial court awarded New Era the full $1,500, and the appellate court affirmed. Forster appealed.