Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. United States: An Unexpected Test For Determining Breach Of The Implied Duty To Cooperate And Not To Hinder Contract Performance


In Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. United States, 2010 WL 569733 (C.A. Fed. 2010), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit articulated an unexpected test for determining when a party to a contract has breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.[1] The court in Precision Pine found that the U.S. Forest Service did not breach the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to the contractor because the Forest Service's actions “were (1) not "specifically targeted,? and (2) did not reappropriate any "benefit? guaranteed by the contracts.” This differs markedly from the objective “reasonableness” standard generally used by courts to analyze whether a party has breached the implied duty to cooperate and not to hinder contract performance.

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