Bulkley v. United States
86 U.S. 37 (1873)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bulkley v. United States, 86 U.S. 19 Wall. 37 37 (1873)

Bulkley v. United States

86 U.S. (19 Wall.) 37

Syllabus

A. contracted with the government to transport a large quantity of army supplies, the government agreeing that in order that he should be in readiness to meet its demands for transportation, due notice should be given to him of the quantity to be transported at any one time. The government gave him notice that transportation would be required at a time named for a certain large amount of supplies specified, and inquired if he would get ready. He replied affirmatively, and did get ready. The government at the time named furnished a small part of the supplies of which they had given notice to the contractor, but not needing transportation for the much larger residue did not furnish that. On suit by the contractor against the government for profits which he would have made had the supplies been furnished as he received notice that they would be, held, that the notice did not amount to an agreement to furnish the amount of supplies specified, and therefore that the contractor could not recover the profits which he would have made had the freights withheld been furnished to him.

Held further that, the government having thrown upon him needless expense by requiring him to make ready for the transportation of freights under the contract, which they did not in the end require to be transported, he was entitled to recover for the expense to which he was thus subjected.

Appeal from the Court of Claims, in which court H. S. Bulkley filed a petition against the United States to recover damages on a contract for the transportation of army supplies in the West, by which, as he alleged, the government, after having given him notice that it would furnish to him certain supplies for transportation, and not having furnished

Page 86 U. S. 38

them (he having made his preparations to transport them), became bound to pay to him the profits which he would have made had the supplies been so furnished and transported.

The Court of Claims decreed against the claim, and he took this appeal.

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