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Vickery v. Ritchie

Supreme Court of Massachusetts
88 N.E. 835 (1909)


Facts

Edward Vickery (plaintiff) and John Ritchie (defendant) entered into a written contract calling for Vickery to build a Turkish bath house on Ritchie’s property. Due to fraud by the contracted architect, Vickery and Ritchie ended up with signed copies of the contract specifying different prices for the work. Vickery’s contract promised payment of nearly $34,000, whereas Ritchie’s contract listed the price as roughly $23,000. The architect’s continuing misrepresentations prevented the parties from discovering the conflicting contracts until the project was almost complete. After the discrepancy was discovered, Vickery sued Ritchie to recover about $10,500, the amount remaining under the approximately $34,000 contract price. An audit indicated that the market value for Vickery’s work was approximately $33,500 and in fact cost Vickery just under $33,000. The audit also showed that the Turkish bath only added $22,000 to the value of Ritchie’s property. The trial court found in favor of Ritchie, and Vickery alleged exceptions.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Knowlton, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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