Legal Memorandum: Breach of Contract Actions in VI

Issue: Under the law of the Virgin Islands, what must a plaintiff establish to prevail on a breach of contract action?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Breach of contract action; Performance
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 169 F.2d 684
Cited Statutes: The Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 235, 223; Section 1-303(b) of the Uniform Commercial Code
Date: 04/01/2015

A plaintiff must establish four elements to prevail on a breach of contract action: (1) an agreement, (2) a duty created by that agreement, (3) a breach of that duty, and (4) damages.  Arlington Funding Services, Inc. v. Geigel, 51 V.I. 118, 134-135 (2009) (quoting Galt Capital, LLP v. Seykota, Civil Nos. 2002-63, 2002-134, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53199, at *6 (D.V.I. Jul. 18, 2007) (Gomez, J.)).  The Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 235 also provides that “(1) [f]ull performance of a duty under a contract discharges the duty [and] (2) [w]hen performance of a duty under a contract is due any non-performance is a breach.”

The American Law Reports offers the following:

A case in which the plaintiffs had been led into making expenditures by assurances that a contract would be forthcoming is Goodman v. Dicker[, 169 F.2d 684 (D.C. Cir. 1948)]. The plaintiffs sought a “dealer franchise” from manufacturers of a certain make of radio. The defendants, being the local distributors of the product, had encouraged the plaintiffs to apply for the contract or franchise and later had assured them that their application had been accepted, that the franchise would be granted, and that the plaintiffs would receive an initial delivery of a certain number of radios. The manufacturers never issued the contract or made any deliveries. The court held the plaintiffs entitled to recover from the defendants, for breach of contract, the moneys expended by them “in preparing to do business under the promised […]


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