Grun Roofing v. Cope

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Grun Roofing v. Cope
Court Texas Courts of Appeals
Citation 529 S.W.2d 258
Date decided October 15, 1975

Facts

  • O.W. Grun Roofing and Construction Co. = "Grun" = plaintiff = construction company = roofing contractor
  • Mrs. Cope = "Cope" = client of Grun
  • Cope contracted with Grun to install a new roof on her home
  • Cope specified that the shingles be in russet glow ("russet" is a reddish-brown color).
  • Upon completion, Cope noticed that some shingles had yellow streaks
  • Grun replaced those vexing shingles; however, a color mis-match still remained
  • In this way, the roof lacked a uniform color
  • In response, Cope refused to pay for the roof

Procedural History

  • Grun filed a mechanic's lien (construction lien) on Cope's property.
  • Cope sued Grun for breach of contract.
  • Cope sought to invalidate the mechanic's lien.
  • The trial court found in favor of Cope.

Issues

Under the doctrine of substantial performance, may a party to a contract recover if his performance doesn't comply with the contract in a material respect?

What if a constructed building contains a cosmetic defect?

Arguments

Grun contended that he was entitled to a substantial payment (even if not 100% of the agreed-upon amount in the contract) in accordance with the quantum meruit concept.

Holding

No. A party may not recover based on substantial performance if a defect in the party's performance frustrates the purpose of the contract.

Grun isn't entitled to recover anything. He may not recover on the basis of quantum meruit.

Judgment

Affirmed

Reasons

Judge: The defect in Grun's performance frustrated the very purpose of the contract: having a roof that is uniform in color.

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