27.03.2023 - 22:42

Hardwoods, a timber supplying company, contracted with a furniture manufacturer, Taylor Furniture. Hardwoods owned a large plot of land where it grew Oak and Beech trees. Taylor had contracted with Ha

Question:

Hardwoods, a timber supplying company, contracted with a furniture manufacturer, Taylor Furniture. Hardwoods owned a large plot of land where it grew Oak and Beech trees. Taylor had contracted with Hardwoods to buy 1 ton of each type of lumber grown by Hardwoods each month at a discounted price for the next 5 years. However, during the second year of the contract, and tornado Hardwoods farmland, and demolished its entire supply of wood. Taylor having no other supplier sued Hardwoods for breach of contract. Hardwoods argued that their contract had been legally discharged as soon as the tornado struck because at that point it was impossible for Hardwoods to supply lumber to Taylor. The court ruled in favor of Hardwoods.

But what if the facts of the case were different? Select each set of facts below that could change the outcome of the case.

SELECT ALL THAT APPLY

A. Instead of a tornado’s striking Hardwoods’ land, the state in which Hardwoods operates passes a law making it illegal for any lumber companies to cut down trees for the purposes of selling their wood. This environmental measure causes Hardwoods to go out of business.

B. Instead of demanding Oak and Beech wood grown specifically on Hardwoods’ land, Taylor requests shipments of Oak and Beech wood from Hardwoods, and specifies in the contract that if Hardwoods cannot supply the wood, then Hardwoods should obtain the requested wood from another lumber supplier.

C. Instead of a tornado’s striking Hardwoods’ tree farm, a wildfire burns all of Hardwoods’ trees.

D. After the tornado, Hardwoods and Taylor Furniture agree to a novation, whereby a competing company, Oakempire, assumes the duties of Hardwoods stated in the original contract.

Answers (1)
  • elrus
    April 3, 2023 в 14:26

    The set of facts that could change the outcome of the case are B and C.

    In scenario B, if Taylor had requested shipments of Oak and Beech wood from Hardwoods and allowed for the possibility of obtaining the requested wood from another lumber supplier in the contract, then Hardwoods would have been obligated to fulfill the contract by obtaining the wood from another source. In this case, Hardwoods could not argue that the contract was legally discharged due to the impossibility of supplying the wood, as they had the option to obtain the wood from another supplier.

    In scenario C, if a wildfire had burned all of Hardwoods' trees instead of a tornado striking the tree farm, the outcome of the case could be different. In this case, it may be argued that the loss of the trees was not due to an unforeseeable event and that Hardwoods should have taken measures to prevent the wildfire from destroying its entire supply of wood. Therefore, the court may rule in favor of Taylor, arguing that Hardwoods was responsible for the loss of the supply of wood and should fulfill the contract by obtaining the wood from another source.

    Scenarios A and D do not change the outcome of the case because, in scenario A, the contract was terminated due to an environmental measure, which is not the same as an unforeseeable event, and in scenario D, a novation would have transferred the obligations and rights of the original contract to Oakempire, and Hardwoods would not be liable for breach of contract.

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