Anglia Televsion v. Reed
3 All E.R. 690 (CA 1971)

  • Angelia was producing a play for television in England.
    • They built sets, hired actors, etc. The last step was to hire a leading man, Reed.
  • At the last minute, Reed backed out.
    • Although Angelia attempted to replace him (thereby mitigating damages), they were unable to do so, and so the play was called off.
  • Angelia sued Reed for breach of contract.
    • Angelia argued that they should recover for the cost of the sets and actor’s salaries.
    • Reed argued that the costs Angelia was talking about were things that happened before they signed the contract with Reed, and he couldn’t possible be liable for that.
      • See Chicago Coliseum v. Dempsey (265 Ill.App. 542 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1932)), which agreed with Reed.
  • The Trial Court found for Angelia. Reed appealed.
    • The Trial Court found that these costs were recoverable, even though they occurred prior to the contract with Reed.
    • The Court found that “where lost profits cannot be ascertained, plaintiff is entitled to recover wasted expenditure and is not necessarily limited to that incurred after the contract was made.”
  • The Appellate Court affirmed.