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Walker v. Signal Companies, Inc.

California Court of Appeals
84 Cal.App.3d 982 (1978)


Facts

W. H. Walker and D. Jane Walker (plaintiffs) entered into an agreement with Signal Landmark and Coronado Cay Company (defendants) to purchase a new home in the Coronado Cays development. The Walkers informed Signal and Coronado that the home must be completely built by April 1, 1973. The Walkers selected this date in order to qualify for special tax treatment on the proceeds received from the sale of their old home. Signal and Coronado agreed to complete construction by December 31, 1972, in the original agreement entered on July 16, 1972. However, when the Walkers visited the development on August 18, 1972, construction had not yet begun. Signal and Coronado required the Walkers to sign a new agreement, and Signal and Coronado agreed that the home would be completed by April 1, 1973. The contract allowed for delays under certain circumstances. The construction on the home proceeded slowly and was not completed until September 1973. The Walkers sued Signal and Coronado and others, alleging breach of contract and fraud. After a jury trial, the jury found in favor of the Walkers and awarded $11,928 in breach-of-contract damages, $5,000 in fraud damages, and $100,000 in punitive damages against Coronado and $115,000 in punitive damages against Signal. Coronado and Signal appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wiener, J.)

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