Pingley v. Brunson

272 S.C. 421, 252 S.E.2d 560 (1979)

Dawson, p. 176


Facts: Brunson played the organ.Pingley hired him to play three nights a week for three years.Brunson repudiated.Pingley sued for specific performance and an injunction against Brunson playing organ for anyone else.Brunson appealed.


Issue: Can a court order specific performance in a personal service contract?


Rule: Courts cannot order specific performance for personal service contracts unless the performer has some unique ability.


Analysis: The court found that there were adequate substitute organ players in the area, and thus Brunson was not unique. The court also found that there was no negative covenant in the contract saying that Brunson mustnít play organ for anyone else.


Conclusion: The court overturned the trial courtís ruling.




I donít see how Pingley could have a case against the other restaurants since he never contracted with any of those restaurants.The duty to not work for anyone else would lie with Brunson, not with the other restaurants.


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