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Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal Mining Co.

Supreme Court of Oklahoma
382 P.2d 109 (1962)

Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal Mining Co.

Facts

Willy and Lucille Peevyhouse (plaintiffs) owned a farm containing coal deposits. In November 1954, the Peevyhouses leased their farm to Garland Coal Mining Co. (Garland) (defendant) for coal mining purposes for five years. As part of the terms of their lease, Garland agreed to perform certain restorative and remedial actions to the farm property at the end of their lease. The cost of the work to Garland was estimated at approximately $29,000. Garland commenced strip mining of the property, but failed to perform the remedial work at the conclusion of the lease. The Peevyhouses brought suit seeking damages of $25,000. At trial, the judge held for the Peevyhouses and directed the jury to award damages by considering the cost of performance of the work agreed to by Garland, as well as the total “diminution in value” of the Peevyhouses’ property due to Garland’s failure to perform the restorative work. The jury awarded the Peevyhouses $5,000 in damages; an amount greater than the total value of the farm even if the remedial work had been done. The parties appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, J.)

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Dissent (Irwin, J.)

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