Walker & Co. v. Harrison

347 Mich. 630, 81 N.W.2d 352 (1957)


Walker (P) rented a neon sign to Harrison (D). The contract required P to construct and install the sign with a specified size and with an electric clock and flashing lamps for D’s dry cleaning business. D agreed to pay P 36 monthly rental payments of $148.50. At the end of the rental contract, D would own the sign. The rental agreement included a repair service clause, which stated that repairs would be performed 'as deemed necessary by P to keep sign in first-class advertising condition.' After the sign was installed, it was hit with a tomato. Rust was visible on the chrome and cobwebs had collected in the corners. D made numerous calls to P to procure service. P did not respond. The first billing of the monthly payment of $148.50 was made August 1, 1953, with payment thereof by D on September 3, 1953. This first payment was also the last. D repudiated the contract. P reminded D that he was one month late and also that the contract contained an acceleration clause. It also allowed P to remove the sign and demand the remainder of the rental payments. No additional payments were made and P sued in assumpsit for the entire balance due under the contract, $5,197.50. D claimed that P’s failure to perform certain maintenance was a material breach. P won the verdict. D appealed.