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S. J. Groves Sons Co. v. Warner Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
576 F.2d 524 (1978)


Facts

S. J. Groves Sons Co. (Groves) (plaintiff) was hired to do concrete work for a large bridge project. Groves hired Warner Co. (Warner) (defendant) to supply the ready-made concrete to the construction site. Warner was supposed to deliver the concrete in the mornings to allow the bridge crew to work on other aspects of the project in the afternoons. Warner, however, regularly did not deliver the concrete on time or in large enough amounts. These issues meant Groves had to pay overtime to keep the project on schedule. Warner reassured Groves that the deliveries would improve, but the problems continued for a year. At that point, the Trap Rock Company (Trap Rock) became available to supply the concrete and even offered to match Warner’s price. Nevertheless, Groves continued with Warner. Eventually, Groves sued Warner. The district court found that Warner had acted in bad faith by overcommitting itself to too many projects and adopting a policy of sending Groves concrete deliveries that were only 75 percent of the promised delivery amount. But the court also found that Groves had failed to fulfill its duty to mitigate damages by not using Trap Rock to supplement Warner’s concrete deliveries. As a result, the court awarded Groves damages for the first year but not after the time Trap Rock became available. Groves appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Weis, J.)

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