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Parsons v. Bristol Development Co.

Supreme Court of California
402 P.2d 839 (Cal. 1965)


Bristol Development Co. (Bristol) (defendant) hired Parsons (plaintiff) to design an office building and assist in supervising its construction. The contract contained a provision which stated that Bristol paying Parsons was conditioned on Bristol obtaining satisfactory financing for the project. Bristol came to a preliminary agreement with a savings and loan company and told Parsons to begin work, giving him 25 percent of his fee. Bristol did not tell Parsons that it had not actually obtained the funds. Under the contract, the other 75 percent of Parsons’s fee was to come only after commencement of construction, exclusively from construction funds. Subsequently, due to a claim of adverse title to the land where the office building was to be built, Bristol was not able to acquire the financing and told Parsons to stop work. Construction never began. Parsons brought suit, claiming he had performed more than 25 percent of his job and was entitled to appropriate compensation. The trial court found in favor of Bristol. Parsons appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, C.J.)

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