Klyap, a math, language arts, and physical education instructor for grades 6 through 8, was employed by the Arrowhead School District, which was considered a rural district in Montana. His contract included a liquidated damages clause for breach of contract. The teacher’s handbook contained information about this liquidated damages clause ( of which Klyap was aware) and how it would be applied. The clause was a little harsher than the standard one often found in contracts, and the damages upon breach would be relatively high— namely 20 percent of his salary.
Two weeks before the next school year was to begin, he resigned from teaching and coaching after working for the school district for one year. There were 80 applicants for his job. Each of the 80 applicants were interviewed, which took time, especially since the person hired also had to assist in the reorganization of the sports program. This seemed like an impossible task so close to the opening of school. A replacement teacher was finally hired one week before school opened. The school district sued Klyap based on the liquidated damage clause contained in the contract. At trial in a lower court, the school district offered evidence that the task of hiring a replacement was difficult because of the time factor and the fact that it had to hire a less experienced teacher. The lower court concluded that the school district had done everything to mitigate its damages under the liquidated damage clause. Consequently it ruled in favor of the school district. Klyap appealed. Should he win on appeal?

  • CreatedSeptember 15, 2015
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