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Selman v. Shirley

Oregon Supreme Court
161 Or. 613, 91 P.2d 312 (1939)


In 1933, S.W. and Nona Selman (plaintiffs) bought 160 acres of land from the Shirleys (defendants) for $2,000. Prior to signing the contract, the Shirleys told the Selmans that the land held 4,000 cords of firewood, merchantable for $0.50 per cord. In fact, there were only 200 cords of merchantable firewood on the land. The Selmans missed their 1935 annual payment to the Shirleys under the contract, and the Shirleys brought suit to eject the Selmans from the property. Soon after, the Selmans brought this suit for damages based on the Shirleys’ fraudulent representations about the firewood. The trial court found that the market value of the property was $2,000. Because the Selmans paid $2,000 for the property, the trial court held that they did not suffer any damages. Consequently, the trial court dismissed the complaint. The Oregon Supreme Court granted the Selmans damages based on the benefit-of-the-bargain rule. The Shirleys petitioned for rehearing.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rossman, J.)

Dissent (Belt, J.)

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