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U.S. Supreme Court

Duesenberg Motors Corp. v. United States, 260 U.S. 115 (1922)

Duesenberg Motors Corporation v. United States

No. 80

Argued October 19, 1922

Decided November 13, 1922

260 U.S. 115


1. A contractor who incurred expense under a contract to manufacture articles for the government for use in the late war, but whose opportunity to perform and earn the contemplated profits was cut short by the sudden cessation of hostilities, the declaration of the armistice, and the consequent termination of the contract in accordance with its terms, took the chances of this contingency, and cannot recover damages. P. 260 U. S. 124.

2. Held, in this case, that delay of the government in furnishing necessary specification as contemplated by a contract for the manufacture of airplane motors of a foreign model, due to an honest but mistaken belief, shared by the contractor, that the model was perfected and adequate specifications in existence, was not an actionable breach of representation in view of the conduct and dealings of the parties for the expedition of the work, the absence of any protest over the delay, and the absence of averment that it prevented the contractor from being fully occupied with preparatory and other work under the contract . P. 260 U. S. 123.

Page 260 U. S. 116

3. Time was of the essence for the government, but not for the contractor. P. 260 U. S. 124.

56 Ct.Clms. 96 affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims dismissing, on demurrer, a petition claiming (1) the profits that would have been made by the claimant, under a contract with the government for manufacture of airplane motors, but for the government's alleged failure to supply the necessary specifications as agreed; (2) amounts paid by the claimant, because of the delay, as interest on money borrowed from the government and private sources for use in executing the contract, and (3), if (1) cannot be recovered, the amount lost by the claimant through terminating its commercial business to accept the contract.

Page 260 U. S. 119

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