HARVEY V. UNITED STATES, 113 U. S. 243 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Harvey v. United States, 113 U.S. 243 (1885)

Harvey v. United States

Argued January 13-14, 1885

Decided February 2, 1885

113 U.S. 243


Ia this case, before reported in 8 Ct.Cl. 501, 12 Ct.Cl. 141, 13 Ct.Cl. 322, and 105 U.S. 871, the Court of Claims, 18 Ct.Cl. 470, awarded to the claimants $18,250.95, for labor done and materials furnished by them in constructing coffer dams and in performing the work necessarily connected therewith and preliminary to the mason work for the piers and abutments referred to in the contract. That court proceeded on the view that the claimants had no right to rely on the testimony of experts introduced by them as to the value of the work, but should have kept and produced accounts of its cost and expense, but it gave to the claimants the benefit of the testimony of experts introduced by the United States as to such value in awarding the above amount. Held that the claimants could not be deprived of reasonable compensation for their work because they did not produce evidence of the character referred to, when it did not appear that such evidence existed, if the evidence they produced was the best evidence accessible to them and it enabled the court to arrive at a proper conclusion.

On evidence thus rejected by the Court of Claims, this Court awarded to the claimants, for the above-named work, $40,093.77.

The Court of Claims having awarded nothing to the claimants for loss and damage from the reduction by the United states of the dimensions of piers and abutments, made subsequently to the making of the contract for doing the mason work thereof, on the view that it had before made an allowance for such loss and damage, this Court, being of a different opinion, allowed $4,574.80 therefor.

Under § 1091 of the Revised Statutes and the ruling in Tillson v. United States, 100 U. S. 43, interest cannot be allowed on the recovery, and there is nothing in the special Act of August 14, 1876, c. 279, 19 Stat. 490, which authorizes the allowance of interest.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 113 U. S. 244

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