Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co. - Wikipedia, the free...

Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co., 382 P.2d 109 (Okl. 1962), is a US contract law case decided by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. It concerns the question of when specific performance of a contractual obligation will be granted and the measure of expectation damages.

Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co.

1 Facts 2 Judgment 3 Addendum 4 Controversy 5 See also 6 Notes 7 External links
Court Citation(s) Supreme Court of Oklahoma 382 P.2d 109 (Okl. 1962)

Willie and Lucille Peevyhouse owned a farm containing coal deposits. In November 1954, they entered into a contract with Garland Coal & Mining Co. They gave Garland a five year lease to strip mine the coal, in return for a royalty, and the promise that the land would be restored once they were done. In the lease agreement was the following: 7d Lessee agrees to leave the creek crossing the above premises in such a condition that it will not interfere with the crossings to be made in pits as set out in 7b. 7f Lessee further agrees to leave no shale or dirt on the high wall of said pits." Coal mining can often work through digging out underground shafts, but stripping off the land was cheaper. To restore the land the overburden must be shifted back, in this case at a cost of $29,000. When there were recurrent floods, Garland refused to put the land back. The Peevyhouses sued. The jury returned a verdict for the Peevyhouses for $5,000 and Garland appealed again.

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma found that, while the coal company breached its contract with the Peevyhouses, Garland did not have to fix the property nor pay for the work necessary to restore the land, but instead could just pay the Peevyhouses for the difference in land value. The land, while destroyed,

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000 in labor would result only in a $300 improvement of the land. the free. A "strip-mining" operation was contemplated in which the coal would be taken from pits on the surface of the ground." but more than the total value of the farm even after the remedial work is done. Justice Jackson gave the leading judgment. and thereafter ” 6/18/11 12:17 AM 2 of 5 . it was stipulated that all covenants and agreements in the lease contract had been fully carried out by both parties. . leased the premises to defendant for a period of five years for coal mining purposes. Judgment was for plaintiffs in an amount considerably less than was sued for. to the total difference in the market value before and after the work was performed.000.. other than to say that it would involve the moving of many thousands of cubic yards of dirt. in a coal mining lease. It is unnecessary to set out the details of the work to be done. at a cost estimated by expert witnesses at about $29.. plaintiffs sued for only $25. instead of from underground mine shafts. plaintiffs Willie and Lucille Peevyhouse sued the defendant.000. however. On appeal. Plaintiffs introduced expert testimony as to the amount and nature of the work to be done. During the trial.00. [If the remedial work were done said Justice Jackson. for damages for breach of contract._Garland_Coal_&_.Wikipedia. defendant conceded that this work had not been done. the facts are as follows: plaintiffs owned a farm containing coal deposits.. the issue is sharply drawn.wikipedia. defendant thereafter introduced expert testimony as to the "diminution in value" of plaintiffs' farm resulting from the failure of defendant to render performance as agreed in the contract�that is. except the remedial work mentioned above.] We therefore hold that where.000.. The Court found that to pay the Peevyhouses to restore their land would be an economic waste.. “ In the trial court.. Garland Coal and Mining Company. http://en. Over plaintiffs' objections. defendant specifically agreed to perform certain restorative and remedial work at the end of the lease period. Defendant argues that the measure of damages is the cost of performance "limited. and what its value would have been if defendant had done what it agreed to. In addition to the usual covenants found in a coal mining lease.Peevyhouse v. the difference between the present value of the farm. 1954. Briefly stated.. Peevyhouse's farm's market value increase only $300. since the $25. Plaintiffs appeal and defendant cross-appeals . had only lost $300 in value.".. Only a fraction of the "cost of performance. Plaintiffs contend that the true measure of damages in this case is what it will cost plaintiffs to obtain performance of the work that was not done because of defendant's default. lessee agrees to perform certain remedial work on the premises concerned at the end of the lease period. [The jury] returned a verdict for plaintiffs for $5.00. and in November. Garland Coal & Mining Co.

“ . Justices Welch... Under the most liberal view of the evidence herein. however. ” 6/18/11 12:17 AM 3 of 5 . the measure of damages in an action by lessor against lessee for damages for breach of contact is ordinarily the reasonable cost of performance of the work._Garland_Coal_& that plaintiffs insisted the [remedial work provisions] be included in the contract and that they would not agree to the coal mining lease unless [those] provisions were included.. and where the economic benefit which would result to lessor by full performance of the work is grossly disproportionate to the cost of performance. In the instant action defendant has made no attempt to even substantially perform.00.. Blackbird VCJ. Although the contract speaks for itself. http://en. .. The cost for performing the contract in question could have been reasonably approximated when the contract was negotiated and executed. There are no conditions existing now which could not have been reasonably anticipated when the contract was negotiated and executed. and that the amount for which judgment should have been rendered is definitely and satisfactorily shown by the record... Justice Irwin's dissent went as follows. defendant had knowledge. is not tainted with fraud. Therefore. It has accepted and reaped the benefits of its contract and now urges that plaintiffs under the contract be denied [their benefits from performance] . when it prevailed upon the plaintiffs to execute the lease. The contract in question is not immoral... Garland Coal & Mining Co. Defendant admitted in the trial of the action. the contract is fully performed by both parties except that the remedial work is not done. that the cost of performance might be disproportionate to the value or benefits received by plaintiff for the performance.Wikipedia.Peevyhouse v. there were several negotiations between the plaintiffs and defendant before the contract was executed. the diminution in value resulting to the premises because of non-performance of the remedial work was $300.. and was not entered into through mistake or accident and is not contrary to public policy. It thus appears that the judgment was clearly excessive.. Berry J and Irwin J dissented. Davison. Therefore. the proper measure of damages should be the cost of performance. and there are no conditions now existing which could not have been reasonably anticipated by the parties. and the approximate cost of fulfilling the obligations could have been approximately ascertained. The defendant could have performed the contract if it desired. Halley and Johnson concurred.wikipedia. the damages which lessor may recover are limited to the diminution in value resulting to the premises because of the non-performance.. in my opinion. where the contract provision breached was merely incidental to the main purpose in view. the free. It is clear and unambiguous and the parties understood the terms thereof. Chief Justice Williams. the plaintiffs were entitled to specific performance of the contract and since defendant has failed to perform.

" See also US contract law Cutter v Powell Robinson v Harman (1848) 18 LJ Ex 202 Notes 1. Garland Coal & Mining Co.lawnix. 381) asserted as fact that "courts in Oklahoma do not follow Peevyhouse. the /cases/ than cost of performance.. Reiter and Bala. but there is no suggestion that a bribe affected the outcome in Peevyhouse.Peevyhouse v." However. at Lawnix.. Bala (eds. the essence of the Peevyhouse holding--to award diminution in value rather.html) 4 of 5 6/18/11 12:17 AM . Shell Oil Co.. reasoned the 10th Circuit. p. the Oklahoma Supreme Court sharply reasserted the Peevyhouse rule in Schneberger v. (890 P." Relying on Rock Island. Inc (698 F.wikipedia." Therefore. has been consistently adhered to.14. in a rebuke to both Federal Courts.2d 1075) that the Oklahoma Supreme Court relied on an Oklahoma statute providing that "no person can recover a greater amount in damages for a breach of an obligation than he would have gained by the full performance thereof on both sides. ^ Contracts: Cases Notes and Materials 7th Edition. a case of relatively little financial consequence to Garland (http://www. Garland Coal & Mining Co. . for the reclamation and conservation of land subjected to surface disturbance by open cut mining.htm) Case Brief for Peevyhouse v. after mining operations are completed.. declaring "[w]hatever the rationale. (795 F. v. "Two of the judges who sided with the majority in Peevyhouse were later involved in a serious bribery scandal." and that this rule was subsequently restricted by the Open Cut Land Reclamation Act of 1967. There is some suggestion that counsel for Garland Coal could have improperly influenced some of the judges in other cases."[1] Controversy The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit determined in Rock Island Improvement Co. Reiter. the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in Davis v. Helmerich & Payne. http://en. Addendum According to Swan._Garland_Coal_&_.2d 847). Swan. and it still represents the majority view.. Apache Corp. External links Full text of judgment from Kentlaw.).com (http://www. declaring it the policy of Oklahoma "to /remedies/peevyhouse/peevyhouse..kentlaw. "We are convinced that the Oklahoma Supreme Court would no longer apply the rule it established in Peevyhouse in 1963.

_Garland_Coal_%26_Mining_Co." Categories: United States contract case law | Oklahoma state case law | 1962 in United States case law This page was last modified on 19 January 2011 at 05:30. a non-profit organization.. additional terms may apply. 5 of 5 6/18/11 12:17 AM .org/wiki/Peevyhouse_v.Peevyhouse v. See Terms of Use for details. the free.wikipedia.wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License._Garland_Coal_&_. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.Wikipedia.. Garland Coal & Mining Co. Retrieved from "http://en.. http://en. ..

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