When a specific object is necessary for the obligor’s performance, its destruction or deterioration making its use impracticable (or its failure to come into existence) discharges the obligor’s duty. Diane’s Dyers contracts to buy the annual wool output of the Sheepish Ranch, but the sheep die of an epidemic disease before they can be shorn. Since the specific thing for which the contract was made has been destroyed, Sheepish is discharged from its duty to supply Diane’s with wool, and Diane’s has no claim against the Ranch. However, if the contract had called for a quantity of wool, without specifying that it was to be from Sheepish’s flock, the duty would not be discharged; since wool is available on the open market, Sheepish could buy that and resell it to Diane’s.
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Destruction or Deterioration of a Thing Necessary for Performance