Leingang v. City of Mandan Weed Board (excerpt)

468 N.W.2d 397 (N.D.1991).

Dawson, p. 44-45


Facts: The defendant awarded a contract to the plaintiff to cut weeds from large lots and another contract to another party to cut weeds from small lots.  The defendant then improperly assigned some large lots to the small lot contractor.  The plaintiff sued for the contract price of the work he should have been allowed to perform minus the costs the plaintiff saved by not performing the work.  The trial court held that only “net profits” were recoverable.


Issue: How should damages to the plaintiff be calculated?


Rule: A plaintiff is to be compensated for all of the damage caused by a breach of contract.


Analysis: The court argues that “constant overhead expenses” should not be included in the cost of performance of a contract because they would have been spent whether or not the contract had been performed.


Conclusion: The appeals court ordered a new trial because the trial court erred in its calculation of damages.


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