New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division - 36 N.J.Super. 128, 36 N.J. Super. 128
In Locks v. Wade (1955), a New Jersey appellate court resolved a contract disagreement between a jukebox owner (Locks) and a renter (Wade). The case was an appeal from a lower court's decision. Locks agreed to lease a jukebox to Wade, with a minimum weekly payment. However, Wade backed out of the contract and Locks rented the jukebox to others.
Locks (the owner) sued Wade (the renter) for violating the contract and sought damages, while Wade countersued for unpaid bills. The trial court ruled in favor of Locks (the owner), granting damages minus depreciation and Locks' expenses. Wade appealed, claiming the jukebox's rent should reduce the damages and a liquidated damages clause should prevent Locks' recovery.
The appellate court upheld the trial court's decision, stating the correct measure of damages was the difference between the contract price and performance cost since jukeboxes were not in short supply and therefore Locks (the owner) could have rented to Wade and the other renter.
This case is significant for showcasing the principle of damages related to contract breaches and personal property leases. It also demonstrates how courts interpret contract provisions such as limitation of damages and liquidated damages clauses.
The case involves a dispute over damages in a breach of contract case for a lease agreement. The court holds that the lessor is entitled to recover the difference between the contract price and the cost of performing the first contract, rejecting the defendant's theory that limits damages to only the rental agreed under the first lease. The court cites Restatement of Contracts § 336(c) and Illustrations 6 and 7, and 5 Corbin, Contracts, § 1041 (1951) to support its decision. The court also discusses a liquidated damages clause in a lease agreement for the sale of goods, finding that it does not prevent the plaintiff from recovering damages for a breach before the machine was installed. The court affirms the decision and notes that the law may be governed by statutory law or precedent, but the focus is on the present situation.
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