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Watkins & Son v. Carrig

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
21 A.2d 591 (1941)


Facts

Watkins & Son (Watkins) (plaintiff) and Carrig (defendant) executed a written contract in which Watkins agreed to excavate a basement for Carrig. Carrig agreed to a total contract price calculated according to an agreed per unit price for the excavation. Watkins commenced the work and soon encountered solid rock. The written contract provided only that the basement would be excavated and did not account for the removal of rock. However, Watkins requested modification of the contract due to the solid rock and the parties orally agreed that Carrig would pay a substantially higher unit price for the portions of the excavation that required removal of rock. Watkins relied on the oral agreement and proceeded with the excavation, the majority of which required removal of rock at the higher per unit price agreed to in the oral agreement. Watkins brought an action against Carrig to enforce payment according to the terms of the oral agreement rather than the written agreement. Watkins prevailed in the trial court based on a referee’s finding that the oral agreement superseded the written agreement. Carrig appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Allen, 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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