Defendant subcontractor appealed judgment

Defendant subcontractor appealed judgment for plaintiff contractor by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) in a breach of contract action.

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Overview

The contractor was hired by the city to lay water pipe and hired the subcontractor for boring operations. Under the contract, charges for extra work were not payable until the Department of Water and Power had approved the charges. The contract also required the contractor to provide trucks, and there was an oral agreement that the subcontractor would provide them at the contractor’s expense. When some of its bills were not paid, the subcontractor quit work. The subcontractor contended that the refusal of the contractor to pay excused its performance. The trial court held the subcontractor abandoned the work without cause. The court held that the oral agreement was not a substitute for, or an addition to, any provision of the written agreement. Even if it could be said that the oral agreement became a part of the written agreement, there was no provision in the oral agreement as to the rate of compensation for use of trucks or as to the time when payment should have been made. A failure by the contractor to pay a bill for use of trucks could not be regarded as a breach of the written contract. The judgment was affirmed.

Outcome

The judgment for the contractor was affirmed.