In most cases, when someone breaches a contract by failing to perform, the most you can do is get your deposit back, you cannot get extra money because they wasted your time or made you miss out on other opportunities. For example, in the case of Merritt Hill Vineyards Inc. v. Windy Heights Vineyard, Inc.(472 N.Y.S.2d 592, 460 N.E.2d 1077 (N.Y. 1984)), Merritt Hill was attempting to buy a vineyard from Windy Heights. Although stipulated in the contract, Windy Heights failed to secure a title insurance policy and a mortgage confirmation statement. Merritt Hill canceled the deal and demanded their deposit back, plus damages. The Court found for Merritt Hill and gave back the deposit, but did not give any damages.
- The Court found that “While a party’s failure to fulfill a condition excuses performance by the other party whose performance is so conditioned, it is not, without an independent promise to perform the condition, a breach of contract subjecting the nonfulfilling party to liability for damages.