Hochster v. De La Tour
Hochster v. De La Tour (1853)
Queens Bench, 118 Eng. Rep. 922
FACTS: K for plaintiff to be a courier for D in Europe for 3 months. P had to be ready to start for such travels by June 1st. D repudiates on May 11.
ISSUE: Compensation required for the repudiation even though there has not been performance?
RULES: Upon a contract to do an act on a future day, a renunciation of the contract by one party dispenses with a condition to be performed in the meantime by the other, the other can get his remedy whenever not after the contract date has begun.
Repudiation plus a breach by non performance gives rise to damages for total breach.
Exception – One Sided Contracts – If at the time of the breach the aggrieved party has fully performed and the only remaining duty of performance of the party in breach is to pay money in independent installments, the failure to pay one or more installments, will not give rise for damages of total breach.
HOLDING/RULING: Judgment for plaintiff.
RATIONALE: P could not enter into another employment that would interfere w/ his promise to start on the agreed date. Also, had to make preparations for himself.
CLASS NOTES: When there is a repudiation the plaintiff must mitigate by finding another job, thus he can sue for damages, since he can not just sit around and wait til the contract date starts to sue and thus accrue more damages. If plaintiff was not able to find work after sufficiently trying to, he will be entitled to every dollar that he was promised.
In service contracts, where one party repudiates, the non-breaching party can get full damages if unable to find another job.