Bomberger v. McKelvey

Supreme Court of California

35 Cal.2d 607 (Cal. 1950)

Under California law, a party to a contract that is required to perform work to fulfill other obligations not solely related to gaining a profit from the agreement may have a right to continue performance and seek recovery thereafter.

Relevant Facts

John Bomberger and others (the plaintiffs) orally agreed to demolish and remove a building owned by D.P. McKelvey and others (the defendants) for $3,500. The oral agreement was confirmed in a letter sent from the defendants to the plaintiffs. An essential element of the agreement allowed the plaintiffs to salvage scarce materials such as plate glass and skylights from the demolished building to be used in another building that the plaintiffs were constructing. Later, the defendants notified the plaintiffs that the demolition project was cancelled because the defendants were unable to secure materials to build a proposed grocery store on the lot after it was cleared. The plaintiffs informed the defendants that they intended to proceed with the demolition of the building and to collect the plate glass and skylights. The plaintiffs completed the project and salvaged the items. Afterwards, they sued to recover the contract price of $3,500. The defendants filed a counterclaim and sought damages for trespass and waste. The trial court held for the plaintiffs and the defendants appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 29, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

35 Cal.2d 607 (Cal. 1950)