Bowers Hydraulic Dredging Co. v. United States - 211 U.S. 176 (1908)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bowers Hydraulic Dredging Co. v. United States, 211 U.S. 176 (1908)
Bowers Hydraulic Dredging Company v. United States
Argued November 11, 1908
Decided November 30, 1908
211 U.S. 176
Where words used in a contract are plain and unambiguous, expert testimony as to their commercial signification is not admissible for the purpose of destroying the plain and obvious intendment of a contract, and so held that, where a government dredging contract, by its terms, expressly excluded material which slid into the excavation from the slope outside of the stakes, expert testimony to show that the trade meaning of the words "measured in place" includes such sliding material if dredged was properly excluded.
After the government has, against the contractor's protest, affixed a meaning to terms used in a contract, the contractor cannot reassert the same claim in regard to a supplementary contract for additional work of the same nature even if the original contract were susceptible of the construction claimed by him.
41 Ct.Cl. 214, 498, affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.