This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If a contract provides that in case of default the promisor shall take certain specified steps to remedy such default, the question frequently arises whether such provision precludes the promisee from bringing an action to recover damages for breach of such covenant. This question is, however, one of construction. In cases of this sort, the parties have inserted express provisions in the contract as to the effect of the breach.1 If such provision is intended by the parties to be exclusive, the promisee has no right of action for breach of such covenant, and his only right is to demand performance of the alternative covenant on the part of the promisor.2 A contract for the sale of a machine may be so drawn that the sole liability of the vendor in case of defects is to remedy such defects by furnishing new parts.3 If A warrants a horse to B, but provides that in case the horse does not comply with the terms of the warranty B may return such horse to A within a specified time, B's sole remedy, if no fraud is shown, is to return such horse within such specified time.4
1 California. Dittrich v. Gobey, 119 Cal. 590, 51 Pac. 962.
Massachusetts. Mill Dam Foundry v. Hovey, 38 Mass. (21 Pick.) 417.
New York. Smith v. Sanborn, 11 Johns. (N. Y.) 59.
Oklahoma. Kramer v. Ewing, 10 Okla. 357, 61 Pac. 1064.
Pennsylvania. McMillan v. Philadelphia Co., 159 Pa. St. 142, 28 Atl. 220.
Utah. Duke v. Griffith, 13 Utah 361, 45 Pac. 276.
Vermont. Patchin v Swift, 21 Vt. 292.
Wisconsin. Dessert v. Scott, 58 Wis. 390, 17 N. W. 14.
2 Mueller v. Pels, 192 111. 76, 61 N. E. 472 [affirming, 94 111. App. 353]; Fitzhugh v. Harrison, 75 Minn. 481, 78
N. W. 95; Kramer v. Ewing, 10 Okla. 357, 61 Pac. 1064.
3 Norris v. Harris, 15 Cal. 226; Patchin v. Smith, 21 Vt. 292.
4 Mueller v. Pels, 192 111. 76, 61 N. E. 472 [affirming, 94 111. App. 353],
5 Phillips v. Cornelius (Miss.), 28 So. 871.
6 German Ins. Co. v. Hazard Bank, 126 Ky. 730, 104 S. W. 725.
7 Twaits v. Pennsylvania Ry., 77 N. J. Eq. 103, 75 Atl. 1010.
8 C. W. Hunt Co. v. Boston Elevated Py. Co., 199 Mass. 220, 85 N. E. 446; Detwiler v. Dowries, 119 Minn. 44, 50 L. R. A. (N.S) 753, 137 N. W. 422; Sanford v. Brown Brothers Co., 208 N. Y. 90, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 778, 101 N. E. 797; Bracken v. Fidelity Trust Co., 42 Okla. 118, L. R. A. 1915B, 1216, 141 Pac. 6.
If there is an absolute warranty or an unconditional covenant on the part of the promisor, there is a strong tendency on the part of the courts to hold that the provisions for remedying defects is merely cumulative, and that in such cases the promisee may demand such action on the part of the promisor or may maintain an action for damages for breach of the covenant at his election.5 If a machine or appliance is sold under an express warranty, a covenant on the part of the seller to replace defective parts at his own expense, is generally regarded as merely cumulative and as giving to the buyer the election between such remedy and an action for damages.6 If machinery is sold under a warranty that it should be of good material and capable of doing good work, and certain parts of such machinery are found not to be of the material required by the terms of such contract, the promise of the vendors to supply suitable parts, together with their act in sending parts which they claim to be suitable, prevents them from claiming that the sole right of the purchaser was to return such machinery within the time specified by the contract.7 If a horse is sold for breeding purposes under a warranty, a covenant on the part of the seller to replace such horse with another in case of breach of such warranty, is not exclusive; and the purchaser has the election between returning the horse and bringing an action for damages.8 If a contract for the sale of fruit trees provides that the seller will replace any trees which are not the kind specified in the contract or return the purchase price thereof, such provision does not prevent the buyer from recovering damages for loss and expense in case such trees are not of the kind specified.9
1 See Sec. 2578 et seq.
2 Crouch v. Leake, 108 Ark. 322, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 774, 157 S. W. 390;-McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. v. Allison, 116 Ga. 445, 42 S. E. 778; West brook v. Beeves, 133 Ia. 655, 111 N. W. 11.
3 McCormick Harvesting Co. v. Allison, 116 Ga. 445, 42 S. E. 778; West-brook v. Reeves, 133 Ia. 655, 111 N. W. 11.
4 Crouch v. Leake, 108 Ark. 322, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 774, 157 S. W. 300.
5 Massachusetts. C. W. Hunt Co. v. Boston Elevated By. Co., 109 Mass. 220, 85 N. E. 446.
Minnesota. Detwiler v. Downes, 110 Minn. 44, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 753, 137 N. W. 422.
New York. Sanford v. Brown Brothers Co., 20$ N. Y. 90, 50 L. R. A. (X.S.) 778, 101 N. E. 797.
Oklahoma. Obenchain v. Roff, 29 Okla. 211, 116 Pac. 782; Bracken v. Fidelity Trust Co., 42 Okla. 118, L. R. A. 1915B, 1216, 141 Pac. 6.
Wisconsin. Parry Manufacturing Co. v. Tobin, 106 Wis. 286, 82 N. W. 154; Hammond v. Sandwich Mfg. Co-, 146 Wis. 4S5, 131 N. W. 1097.
6 C. W. Hunt Co. v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co., 199 Mass. 220, 85 N. E. 446; Detwiler v. Downes, 119 Minn. 44, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 753, 137 N. W. 422; Obenchain v. Roff, 29 Okla. 211, 116 Pac. 782; Parry Manufacturing Co. v. Tobin, 106 Wis. 286, 82 N. W. 154; Hammond v. Sandwich Mfg. Co., 140 Wis. 485. 731 N. W. 1097.