a trip to New City to hold six meetings, each to obtain long-term work with a
different potential client. All the meetings were scheduled for the same day.
Three were scheduled for the morning (before noon), and three for the
afternoon. As the meetings were to take place in various locations throughout
downtown New City, Photographer would need transportation for the day. Photographer
had never previously visited New City, so he did not want to rely upon public
transportation or try to drive himself around in unfamiliar locations. After
some Internet research, he found the website of New City Drivers
offered the services of several drivers, who could be hired by the hour or by
the day. Each driver’s profile on the website listed that driver’s name, age,
hourly and daily rates, and the make and model of the driver’s vehicle.
Photographer selected Driver’s profile. After verifying that Driver would be
available on the day of Photographer’s meetings, Photographer completed the
online order form to hire her.
Later that day,
Driver emailed Photographer to confirm his reservation. Driver attached a photo
of her car to the email, so that Photographer would recognize it when she
picked him up. After viewing the photo, Photographer emailed Driver the
Thank you for confirming my reservation for next
week. However, I am worried by the photo of your car you attached. I am planning
to bring some of my photography equipment to my meetings that day, and it
doesn’t look like the larger equipment will fit in your car. I would prefer an
SUV, to be sure that all of my equipment will easily fit in the vehicle.
Driver did not
respond to Photographer’s email. On the day of Photographer’s reservation,
Driver did not pick him up at the scheduled time. The hotel’s concierge, who
knew about Photographer’s meeting schedule, immediately offered to arrange
substitute transportation that would get Photographer to all his meetings on
time. Photographer declined the concierge’s offer, and insisted on waiting for
Driver and using New City Drivers. After waiting for half an hour outside his
hotel, Photographer went back up to his hotel room and emailed Driver:
Where are you? I have already missed my first
meeting this morning, and I have five more scheduled throughout the day—including
two more before noon.
Driver did not
respond until noon:
Sorry, but I thought you canceled the reservation
with me so that you could reserve an SUV! I have already accepted another
client for today, but I will have my supervisor at New City Drivers call you
right now and see whether there is another driver who can get you to your
the supervisor called Photographer, who was still in his hotel room, and
arranged to send an alternative chauffeur to take him to his afternoon meetings.
Photographer attended all three, signing contracts with two of the three
clients. Photographer later complained to New City Drivers that he would have
made $15,000 profit on each morning appointment, had he signed a contract with
each potential client. Photographer then sued New City Drivers for breach of
contract, seeking only $45,000 in damages arising from the missed morning
meetings. Assume a valid contract between New City Drivers and Photographer.
New City Drivers argues that it had no contractual obligation to pick up Photographer on the day of his reservation. Is this argument likely to succeed? Explain, making sure to articulate the rationale behind the argument.
New City Drivers argues in the alternative that, even if it breached the contract and Photographer’s estimate of his damages is accepted by the court, it is not liable for any lost profits resulting from Photographer’s missing his morning meetings. What will New City Drivers argue that Photographer should have done? Is this argument likely to succeed? Explain.
Assume that New City Drivers’ arguments fail (rightly or wrongly), New City Drivers is found in at least partial breach, and Photographer is asked to demonstrate why his requested $45,000 in damages is an accurate assessment of his damages. Is Photographer likely to obtain a judgment of $45,000 arising from the missed meetings, and what will he need to show in order to obtain these damages? Explain.