Gay v. Alter - 102 U.S. 79 (1880)
U.S. Supreme Court
Gay v. Alter, 102 U.S. 79 (1880)
Gay v. Alter
102 U.S. 79
By the law of Louisiana, a party to a synallagmatic contract has no right to rescind it by reason of the failure of performance by the other party unless he returns to the latter what was received from him, so as to put him in the same situation in which he was before.
The controversy in this case related to the validity of certain judgments, and depended mainly upon the facts disclosed by the evidence. In one case, the judgment creditor had agreed to accept $8,000 for a judgment of $11,000, and received $3,000 in cash on this agreement, and informally assigned the judgment to a friend of the judgment debtor for his benefit. The subsequent payments not being made as agreed, the judgment was assigned to Gay, who had notice of the transaction, and he sought to recover the whole amount. Alter, the purchaser of the property affected by the judgment, contended that it could only stand for the reduced amount, subject to the payment of $3,000, which would leave only $5,000 due. Gay claimed that, as the payments agreed to be made were not all made, the agreement was forfeited. The court below decreed in favor of Alter. Gay thereupon appealed here.