In plaintiff's suit against defendants to recover $620,000 deposit after he unilaterally canceled escrow, arising from an agreement to purchase defendants' beach residence for $14 million, trial court's judgment in favor of defendants is reversed and remanded where: 1) in a rising market, the seller of real property is limited to the recovery of consequential damages and interest against the buyer who breached the purchase agreement; 2) defendants' retention of plaintiff's deposit in the circumstance of a rising market, presented here, constituted an invalid forfeiture under Freeman v. Rector; and 3) the trial court erred by concluding defendants were entitled to plaintiff's deposit as separate and additional consideration for defendants' agreements to extend escrow.
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Filed February 10, 2010
Opinion by Judge Fybel