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Damages Upon Repudiation of A Contract, 17 Yale Law Journal 611 (1908)


In the April number of this journal Professor Joseph H. Beale, Jr., sets forth very clearly the principles governing the measure of damages in cases of anticipatory repudiation of a contract. It seems to the writer than in one respect only is a criticism to be made of his analysis. Professor Heale shows convincingly that where "the plaintiff sues at once for an anticipatory breach of the contract, his damages are to be assessed according to the cost of performance, not at the time of the breach, but at the time set for p"erformance." To this rule, however, he says there may be one exception: where parties have made a contract for the future delivery of a commodity
of such a nature that the right to its future delivery has a present market value, and an anticipatory breach occurs, the measure of the damages is not the value of the contract at the time for performance, but the value of the contract at the time of the breach. The example given is a sale of oats for July delivery, and a repudiation occurs in April. July oats have a market value in
April representing the April value of the contract right to July oats. It is submitted that even such a case as this is no exception to the general rule.

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