Plaintiff’s contended that the difference in the financing costs they experience because of the delay should be presented as damages because the breach by defendants will result in a higher financing cost. Also, plaintiffs strongly stress the breach of contract because they suffered costs and attorney’s fees as well as financing costs for the delay in acquiring a second mortgage obligation; Defendant’s delay should be calculated as damages for plaintiffs. On June 15, 2004, plaintiffs’ real estate attorney forwarded a time-of-the-essence letter to defendants, setting a closing date of June 25, 2004.
Defendants failed to close and are not willing to close on the property. Defendants do not dispute the weight of the contract. However, Mrs. Vastola’s spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) began to accelerate. In defense of their position, defendants provided a letter from Mrs. Vastola’s doctor, Mark J. Brown, which explained that SMA is a progressive neurological condition that, as a result, disables her from all daily activities because of her arms and legs are weak which results in putting Mrs. Vastola in no condition to sell her house and move. Correspondingly the defendants argue that since the time they signed the contract for the sale of the home, Mrs. Vastola’s conditions become increasingly worse, should excuse the performance in proceeding with the sale of their house.
Besides the plaintiffs were well aware of Mrs. Vastola’s condition when they signed the contract. Defendants also advise the court that finances are tight and they should not be responsible for an increase in mortgage rates considering the situation the Vastola’s have recently encountered. Issue: In this case is it acceptable for the court to award costs to the plaintiffs for legal charges and land fees but also void the breach of contract, by the defendant, considering the physical health of the defendant, even if the contract was signed before the defendant was diagnosed with SMA? Decision: Yes. Plaintiffs are entitled to reimbursement for costs associated with the breach of contract.
Compensatory damages are intended to recompense the injured claimant for losses due to the breach. However, a defendant is not chargeable for a loss that he did not have reason to foresee as a probable result of the breach when the contract was made. The specific elements to be applied in any given case of a seller’s breach of an executory agreement to sell realty may vary in order to achieve the broad purposes of damages.
If the buyer subsequently purchased another property financed at a higher interest, the rate interest differential occasioned by the seller’s default might be a proper factor to consider in fixing damages. Overall plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is hereby denied because of the defendant’s substantial evidence to reinforce the defendant’s illness.
Reason: The court is sympathetic to the difficulty of the plaintiffs, who apparently had their heart set on this house and have been waiting for a closing date but this court will consider documentations of interest rates on their mortgage, as well as the out of pocket expenses and attorney fees associated with the breach, so that the court can award costs accordingly to the plaintiffs. Nevertheless, the court would render a heartless judgment to evict a woman whose health has deteriorated badly while the contract was pending and wishes nothing more than to remain in her home during the most difficult days of her illness.
Courtney from Study Moose
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