Southwest Engineering Co. v. United States
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
341 F.2d 998 (1965)
The United States Government (government) (defendant) hired Southwest Engineering Co. (Southwest) (plaintiff) to perform four substantial construction contracts. Each contract contained a liquidated damages provision stating the amount of damages that would accrue each day the projects were late. The liquidated damages provisions also provided for excusing delays or extending performance in the event of delays by the government or other occurrences beyond the control of Southwest. Southwest was late completing all four projects due to reasons both within and outside of its control. After adjusting for other factors and granting appropriate extensions, the government withheld a total of $8,300 in liquidated damages from Southwest’s pay. The government stipulated that it suffered no actual damages from Southwest’s delay, but acted according to the liquidated damages provisions in each contract. Southwest brought suit against in federal district court against the government seeking recovery of the liquidated damages. Southwest argued the government was not entitled to liquidated damages because it suffered no actual damage. The trial court held the liquidated damages clauses to be reasonable and enforceable, and dismissed Southwest’s claims. Southwest appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Van Oosterhout, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.