Hansen v. "Trinity" (The)

In Ship Building and Repair on (Updated )

The Plaintiffs in this case sought the return of in excess of $300,000 they had paid towards the purchase of a sailing vessel being built for them by the Defendants. The Plaintiffs alleged that there was a fundamental breach of the building contract entitling them to rescission of the contract. The breaches related to alleged welding defects in the hull. The Defendants counterclaimed for damages and alleged the Plaintiffs had forfeited their part payments. The Court reviewed the evidence and found that the Plaintiffs had failed to prove the welds were defective. Accordingly the claim of fundamental breach was dismissed and the Court found that the Plaintiffs had repudiated the contract by refusing to complete the purchase. The Court noted that the Plaintiffs had thereby forfeited their part payment of the purchase price but considered whether relief from forfeiture should be granted. The Court calculated the total loss suffered by the defendants at $234,000 and compared this to the sum forfeited of $317,000. The Court concluded that the sum forfeited was not out of all proportion to the loss suffered and declined to grant relief from forfeiture.