essay

Contract  analysis scenario one—damages determination: Alfred and Barbara   own adjoining farms in Dry County, an area where  all agriculture requires   irrigation. Alfred bought a well-drilling rig and  drilled a 400-foot well from   which he drew drinking water. Barbara needed no  additional irrigation water,   but in January 1985, she asked Alfred on what  terms he would drill a well near   her house to supply better-tasting drinking  water than the county water she  has  been using for years. Alfred said that  because he had never before drilled  a  well for hire, he would charge Barbara  only $10 per foot, about one dollar  more  than his expected cost. Alfred said  that he would drill to a maximum  depth of  600 feet, which is the deepest his  rig could reach. Barbara said,  “OK—as long  as you can guarantee completion  by June 1, we have a deal.” Alfred  agreed, and  he asked for $3,500 in  advance, with any further payment or refund  to be made  on completion. Barbara  said, “OK,” and she paid Alfred  $3,500.

Alfred  started to drill on May 1. He had reached a  depth of 200  feet on May 10 when  his drill struck rock and broke, plugging the  hole. The  accident was  unavoidable. It had cost Alfred $12 per foot to drill  this 200  feet. Alfred  said he would not charge Barbara for drilling the useless  hole in  the ground,  but he would have to start a new well close by and could  not  promise its  completion before July 1.

Barbara, annoyed by Alfred’s  failure, refused  to  let him start another well. On June 1, she contracted with  Carl to drill a   well. Carl agreed to drill to a maximum depth of 350 feet for  $4,500, which   Barbara also paid in advance, but Carl could not start drilling  until October   1. He completed drilling and struck water at 300 feet on October  30.

In  July, Barbara sued Alfred, seeking to recover  her $3,500 paid to  Alfred, plus  the $4,500 paid to Carl.

On August 1, Dry County’s dam  failed, thus  reducing  the amount of water available for irrigation. Barbara  lost her apple  crop worth  $15,000. The loss could have been avoided by pumping  from Barbara’s  well if it  had been operational by August 1. Barbara amended  her complaint to  add the  $15,000 loss.
In a minimum  of a 1,000-word contract analysis, discuss Barbara’s suit   against Alfred. What  are Barbara’s rights, and what damages, if any, will she   recover? 
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