Jacob & Young v. Kent
230 N.Y. 239, 129 N.E. 889 (N.Y. 1921)
& Young was hired to build a house for Kent.Kent specified a specific brand of pipe. Jacob &
Young built the house, but neglected to use the brand of pipe specified.
specified the pipe because his brother was a pipe manufacturer.
pipe Jacobs & Young used met all the specifications, it just wasn't the same brand.
found out about this a year after moving in and refused to pay the balance
of the contract. Jacob & Young sued for breach of contract.
architect refused to certify the house as being complete unless the pipes
would have cost an enormous amount of money to replace the pipes since
the walls had already been put in. You'd pretty much have to knock the entire house down and start form scratch.
Trial Court found for Jacob & Young.Kent appealed.
Trial Court found that there was no quality discrepancy between the
brands of pipe, and the use of the other brand was neither fraudulent nor
Appellate Court affirmed.
Appellate Court found that Jacob & Young default was unintentional
and trivial, and that they had substantially performed on the contract.
was entitled to recover the difference in the value of the house
resulting from the use of a different brand of pipe (if any), but other
than that, he was required to pay the full amount of the contract.
breach was not a condition of the
contract.Breaches that are
not conditions are atoned
for by calculating damages, they do not excuse the other party from performance.