a right to abandon it, as the Court has indicated. It also had the right, however, to insist on continuing and completing the task called for by the original subcontract. It chose the former course, which, perhaps, was the more prudent one. It may not, however, have the benefit of both. Accordingly, as a matter of fairness and sitting as a jury, the Court will not allow this item.
The plaintiff further has a claim for consequential damages. This claim is disallowed as too speculative and remote, as well as on the ground that it has not been sufficiently proven. Moreover there is insufficient proof that any action of the defendant was the proximate cause or one of the proximate causes of the alleged damages.
The counterclaim of the defendant Basic is for additional costs that it claims to have incurred in completing the plaintiff's work, in that the compensation that it was required to pay to the new subcontractor was greater than that called for by the plaintiff's subcontract. The plaintiff, however, abandoned the work as he had a right to do, because the contractor insisted that the plaintiff do extra work but wrongfully declined to agree to pay compensation for it. Under the circumstances, the contractor is not entitled to recover the additional expense incurred by it as a result of its own wrong. The counterclaim will be dismissed.
The plaintiff's claim against the architect Stone arises out of a different chain of events that took place contemporaneously with those already narrated. Both the owner and the architect's representative had been complaining that the plaintiff did not have enough painters at work to be able to finish the project in accordance with the schedule. The owner and the architect's representative kept prodding the contractor and the contractor kept urging the plaintiff to hire more men, but to no avail. Finally, on February 9, 1966, the architect, through his subordinate at the project, directed the contractor to cancel the plaintiff's subcontract. This amazing directive was issued by the architect's office without notice to the plaintiff and without giving the plaintiff any opportunity to be heard, orally or in writing, formally or informally. This action on the part of the architect's office was contrary to the fundamental ideas of justice and fair play. The suggestion belatedly made at the trial that it was not appropriate for the architect to maintain any contacts with subcontractors is fallacious in this connection. Any such principle as that did not bar the architect's representative from according a hearing to the subcontractor before directing that his subcontract be cancelled.
The contractor, however, in the exercise of what appears to be proper caution, did not immediately carry out the directive to cancel the subcontract. The contractor merely informed the plaintiff that it had received this directive and endeavored to arrange a conference with the plaintiff's President in the hope of inducing a withdrawal of the directive, but was unsuccessful in accomplishing this result. No doubt, both in this instance and in the case of the other dispute, differences of personalities contributed to the result. This is not surprising, however, because we are dealing with human beings and not with machines. Differences of personalities enter into all human affairs and the Courts naturally must make allowances for them.
In the meantime, within a few days, after this directive was issued and while the other dispute was also in progress, the plaintiff, on February 16, as has been shown, had abandoned the work for other reasons. Since the architect's directive was not carried out, there is no foundation for any claim for damages against him, irrespective of whether his action was arbitrary or not.
Accordingly, in conclusion, judgment will be rendered by this Court as follows:
That the plaintiff, John W. Johnson, Incorporated, recover of the defendant, Basic Construction Company, the sum of $71,767.25;
That the complaint as against the defendant Stone be dismissed on the merits;
That the counterclaim of the defendant, Basic Construction Company, be dismissed on the merits.
This opinion will constitute the findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Counsel will submit a proposed judgment.
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