Wise v. Stannard,
249 U.S. 361 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wise v. Stannard, 249 U.S. 361 (1919)

Wise v. Stannard

No. 214

Argued March 11, 1919

Decided March 31, 1919

249 U.S. 361


In a contract for the construction of two government laboratory buildings, it was provided that, in case the completion of the work should be delayed beyond a period allowed, the United States, in view of the difficulty of estimating the resulting damages with exactness, and for the cost of extra inspection and rents, salaries, and other expenses that would be entailed, might deduct $200 for each day of delay, until the work should be completed, not as a penalty, but as liquidated damages, computed, estimated and agreed upon. There was such delay, as to both buildings, that the amount thus computed exceeded $20,000. Held that the fact that the amount specified was to be the same whether both buildings were delayed or only one was not a sufficient reason for considering it a penalty, nor was there other ground for not giving effect to the agreement as a genuine pre-estimate of loss. P. 249 U. S. 364. Sun Printing & Publishing Association v. Moore, 183 U. S. 642.

Whether a party should be relieved from a plain stipulation for liquidated damages upon the ground that a penalty was really intended will depend upon the facts of the case, and not upon a conjectural situation that might have arisen under the contract. Id.

52 Ct.Clms. 400 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 249 U. S. 363

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