Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Parties to a contract obligated to cooperate to facilitate compliance, performance under the contract


CONTRACT LAW: Texas courts recognize implied duty to cooperate
  
A duty to cooperate is implied in every contract in which cooperation is necessary for performance of the contract. This implied duty requires that a party to a contract may not hinder, prevent, or interfere with another party's ability to perform its duties under the contract. Case Corp. v. Hi-Class Bus. Sys. of Am., Inc., 184 S.W.3d 760, 770 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2005, pet. denied); Bank One, Tex., N.A. v. Stewart, 967 S.W.2d 419, 435 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied); Hallmark v. Hand, 833 S.W.2d 603, 610 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1992, writ denied).

Additionally, when one party to a contract, by wrongful means, prevents the other party from performing, such an action by the party at fault constitutes a breach of contract. The effect of such a breach is not only to excuse performance by the injured party, but also to entitle it to recover for any damage it may sustain by reason of the breach. Smith v. Lipscomb, 13 Tex. 532, 538 (1855); Arceneaux v. Price, 468 S.W.2d 473, 474 (Tex. Civ. App.—Austin 1971, no writ); S.K.Y. Inv. Corp. v. H. E. Butt Grocery Co., 440 S.W.2d 885, 889–90 (Tex. Civ. App.—Corpus Christi 1969, no writ).

SOURCE: CORPUS CHRISTI/EDINBURG COURT OF APPEALS - 13-08-00263-CV - 10/20/11FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION AS RECEIVER FOR WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK v. DAVID MARION WHITE



The settlement agreement expressly allowed White to remain in the home until October 25, 2004. Washington Mutual had a contractual duty and an implied duty to not hinder, prevent, or interfere with White’s possession of the home and his ability to remove his property from the home during the stated time period. It would be inconsistent with the settlement agreement and its merger clause to infer that Washington Mutual did not have an obligation to give White the right of ingress and egress to the house until said date.

We hold that the trial court did not abuse of discretion by submitting the issue of breach of contract to the jury. We overrule Washington Mutual’s fourth issue.

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