Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. v. United States

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. v. United States, 261 U.S. 592 (1923), is a US Supreme Court case on contract law. The Supreme Court held that an implied in fact contract exists as, “an agreement … founded upon a meeting of minds, which, although not embodied in an express contract, is inferred, as a fact, from conduct of the parties showing, in the light of the surrounding circumstances, their tacit understanding.”

Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued March 12, 1923
Decided April 9, 1923
Full case nameBaltimore & Ohio Railroad Company v. United States
Citations261 U.S. 592 (more)
58 Ct.Cl. 709; 43 S. Ct. 425; 67 L. Ed. 816
Holding
An implied in fact contract exists as, an agreement founded upon a meeting of minds, which, although not embodied in an express contract, is inferred, as a fact, from conduct of the parties showing, in the light of the surrounding circumstances, their tacit understanding.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William H. Taft
Associate Justices
Joseph McKenna · Oliver W. Holmes Jr.
Willis Van Devanter · James C. McReynolds
Louis Brandeis · George Sutherland
Pierce Butler · Edward T. Sanford
Case opinion
MajoritySanford

FactsEdit

JudgmentEdit

The judgment of the United States Court of Claims dismissing the appellant's action for compensation for costs of constructing temporary barracks to house the National Guard at piers leased by it to appellee was affirmed. The governmental officials involved in the construction at the piers had no authority to order the work so there was no express agreement. Further, the court reasoned there was no substantial basis for an implied in fact contract, because construction was voluntarily undertaken by appellant, with no mention of compensation.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • Full text of judgment from Justia