Business Law Contracts

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Contracts

Cyril made two contracts. The first was to have his house painted one month from the date of the written contract. The second was for his neighbor's 1957 Ford Thunderbird. Each contract was definite and clear in all respects. As to the house painting, Cyril inquired with the painter as to when the work could begin. The painter explained that he was extremely busy and was not sure if he could fulfill the contract. Cyril flew into a rage and immediately hired someone else who painted the house, but at a higher price. Cyril then sued the painter, claiming that there was an anticipatory repudiation of the contract by the painter.

With regard to the automobile purchase contract, after signing the contract, the neighbor decided that she did not wish to sell her car and refused to complete the transaction. Cyril attempted to purchase a similar car elsewhere, but the car was a vintage automobile which was not available on the open market. Cyril sued the neighbor for specific performance of the contract. Discuss the probable outcomes of the lawsuits.

ANS:
Cyril will lose the case against the painter because there was no anticipatory repudiation of the contract. An anticipatory repudiation must be clear, positive, and unequivocal. Merely stating that you are not sure if you can complete a contract does not constitute repudiation.

Cyril will win the lawsuit for specific performance because the car is unique and no adequate remedy in the form of monetary damages is available to Cyril. Cyril cannot simply go out and purchase a similar car elsewhere.
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