Washington Law Review




Plaintiff entered into an oral agreement to work defendant's farm for three years with an option to buy at the end of the term. The agreement specified that plaintiff would receive an annual salary, one-half of which would be retained and applied to the purchase price should plaintiff choose to buy the farm. On election to buy, plaintiff was to receive, as a credit towards the purchase price, one-third of the farm's increased value over $40,000. In addition, the agreement provided for a board of appraisers to settle potential disputes about the farm's value. Plaintiff took possession, made valuable improvements, and, after three years, offered to buy the farm. Defendant refused to sell, and ordered plaintiff to vacate. Plaintiff, claiming that part performance took the case out of the Statute of Frauds, sued for damages for the alleged breach of the oral contract of sale. During the pendency of this action, defendant conveyed the farm to a third person. The Court of Appeals denied relief. The Washington Supreme Court reversed. Held: a contract exempted by part performance from the Statute of Frauds may serve as the basis for an action at law for money damages. Miller v. McCamish, 78 Wn.2d 821, 479 P.2d 919 (1971).

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