ARTICLE: PEEVYHOUSE V. GARLAND COAL & MINING CO. REVISITED: THE BALLAD OF WILLIE AND LUCILLE Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1995 Northwestern University Law Review
Northwestern University Law Review

ARTICLE: PEEVYHOUSE V. GARLAND COAL & MINING CO. REVISITED: THE BALLAD OF WILLIE AND LUCILLE

89 Nw. U.L. Rev. 1341

Author

Judith L. Maute *

Excerpt



[SEE PHOTO IN ORIGINAL]
 
We picked a fine time to strip mine, Lucille.
It sure looks to me like we got a raw deal.
That smooth city-slicker said we'd all get rich quicker
I should have known it warn't real.
We picked a fine time to strip mine, Lucille.
 
We picked a fine time to strip mine, Lucille.
Make no mistake, hon, we got a raw deal,
I never went to law school,
I didn't know the value rule,
I thought sure we'd win our appeal,
The Supreme Court done gyped us, Lucille. 1

I. Introduction


Much of the law school case method is story-telling. Imaginative professors embellish facts to make a point. For many professors, the law cannot be divorced from the context of human experience; facts enliven cases and teach important moral lessons. 2 Especially compelling stories become woven into the fabric of legal folklore. 3

Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co. 4 is one such case. Willie and Lucille Peevyhouse owned 120 acres of land in Oklahoma where they lived, farmed, and grazed cattle. In 1954 they leased sixty acres to Garland Coal Company (Garland) for stripmining on the condition that Garland do certain remedial work to the affected land. When Garland quit the premises without doing the work, the Peevyhouses sued for $ 25,000, the estimated cost of performance. 5 At trial, Garland conceded breach of contract and offered no legal excuse for nonperformance. 6 The sole issue in the case, therefore, concerned damages, with ...
 
 
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