District of Columbia v. Gallaher

Decision Date06 February 1888
Citation31 L.Ed. 526,124 U.S. 505,8 S.Ct. 585
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Atty. Gen. Garland and Asst. Atty. Gen. Howard, for appellant.

Th. Hughes and Woodbury Blair, for appellees.


This suit was brought against the District of Columbia for the recovery of the sum of $138,459.55; of this $35, 36.49 were alleged to be payable as the balance due upon a contract for building and completing the brick arch upon stone abutments of Tiber creek sewer, as set out and described in the contract and specifications attached to the petition, at the price of $113 per lineal foot. The additional sum of $98,130.44 was alleged to be due on account of extra work and materials furnished by the contractors beyond the requirements of the contract in and about the same work. This indebtedness was denied, and the defendant also filed a plea of set-off in the sum of $82,176; of this, $7,176 was for the value of stone alleged to have been sold by the defendant to the claimants, $35,000 on account of deficiencies in the construction of the sewer, and $40,000 as the reasonable cost and expense of filling the canal for the whole length of the sewer, which the defendant claimed the petitioners were bound by their contract to do. Upon the facts found by the court, it was held that the claimants were entitled to recover upon their claims the sum of $43,935.74; that the defendant was entitled to recover upon the set-off and counter-claim the sum of $1,479; and judgment was rendered in favor of the petitioners for the difference, being the sum of $42,456.74.

The facts as found by the court, so far as material, are as follows: The Tiber creek, prior to the year 1871, was a natural stream of water flowing through the city of Washington, and discharging into what was then known as the 'Washington Canal,' on Third street west, between Maine and Missouri avenues, and by that in the Eastern branch.

Among the improvements projected by the board of public works was that of utilizing this stream in connection with the sewerage system of the city, and the general plan adopted was that of constructing a main sewer of masonry and brick-work along its course, through which the stream should flow, receiving and conducting the sewage from lateral connections on either side. It was constructed for the most part in sections, by contract with different parties, and the part here in controversy was the final or outlet section. It was commonly styled the 'Tiber creek sewer or arch.' On and before July 14, 1873, a portion of this sewer had been completed, which (so far as is here material) extended from the north side of Pennsylvania avenue, across the botanical garden, into Third street, and along and under Third street to a point three feet north of the south building line of Maryland avenue, at which terminus the sewer was (so far as here material) of the following construction and size, namely: The side walls were of masonry, about 3 feet high and 5 feet 6 inches thick, supporting an approximate semi-elliptic arch of 30 feet span and 7 feet 10 inches rise. The extrados of the arch, including the skew-back course, was backed up with rubble masonry to the level of its crown. The timber sleepers for the foundations were 41 feet in length.

Proposing to continue the sewer to its outlet with the same construction and size, the board of public works, on July 14, 1873, sent to H. L. Gallaher & Co., consisting of Hugh L. Gallaher and Edwin H. Smith, a written proposal for continuing the Tiber creek sewer from its existing terminus at Maryland avenue and Third street southwest, along the line of the Washington canal to its junction with the James creek canal, the size and manner of construction of the sewer to be the same as that of the portion of the same sewer constructed on Third street south-west, and to be paid for at the rate of $113 per lineal foot; and they were requested by return mail to notify the board of their acceptance or rejection of the proposal. On the same day H. L. Gallaher & Co., by writing, accepted it. A written contract bearing date July 19, 1873, was executed between the...

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    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • July 20, 1943
    ...the tax upon defendant's income derived from the rental. State v. Christopher, 318 Mo. 225, 2 S.W. (2d) 621; District of Columbia v. Gallaher, 124 U.S. 506, 510, 31 L. Ed. 526; Natl. Refining Co. v. Cox, 227 Mo. App. 778, 57 S.W. (2d) 778; Insurance Co. v. Dutcher, 95 U.S. 262. (7) The cond......
  • Gudmundson v. Thingvalla Lutheran Church
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • December 12, 1914
    ... ... Rehearing denied January 11, 1915 ...          From a ... decision of the District Court of Pembina County, TEMPLETON, ... Special Judge, defendants appeal ... Topliff, 122 U.S. 121, 131, 30 ... L.Ed. 1110, 1114, 7 S.Ct. 1057; District of Columbia v ... Gallaher, 124 U.S. 505, 510, 31 L.Ed. 526, 527, 8 S.Ct ... 585; 8 Cyc. 726, 736 and ... ...
  • J. E. Blank, Inc. v. Lennox Land Co.
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    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • July 20, 1943
    ... ... the rental. State v. Christopher, 318 Mo. 225, 2 ... S.W.2d 621; District of Columbia v. Gallaher, 124 ... U.S. 506, 510, 31 L.Ed. 526; Natl. Refining Co. v ... Cox, ... ...
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    ...13 N.W. 16; Harbach v. Miller, 14 Neb. 9, 14 N.W. 545; Rathbun v. McConnell, 27 Neb. 239, 42 N.W. 1042; District of Columbia v. Gallaher, 124 U.S. 505, 31 L.Ed. 526, 8 S.Ct. 585.) The Construction Company is, therefore, entitled to repayment, with interest, of the sum of $ 17,769.45 on acco......
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  • The Construction Industry in the U.S. Supreme Court: Part 1, Contract Law
    • United States
    • ABA General Library The Construction Lawyer No. 41-2, April 2021
    • April 1, 2021
    ...text accompanying notes 65–73. 36. Wood v. City of Ft. Wayne, 119 U.S. 312 (1886). 37. Id. at 320. 38. Dist. of Columbia v. Gallaher, 124 U.S. 505 (1888). 39. Id. at 510. 40. See generally Murray, supra note 4, at 880–82. 41. See Smithmeyer v. United States, 147 U.S. 342 (1893); Tilley v. C......

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