Must Counties Pay Interest for Construction Work In the Absence of a Contractual Agreement ?

In County of Pike v. Hosford, 11 Ill. 169, 11 Ill. 170 (1849), a builder contracted with a county to build a bridge. The county agreed to pay the builder after the bridge was completed and accepted. The county partially paid the builder upon completion; subsequently, it tendered the remaining amount. The builder refused the second payment, asserting that it should have included interest. There was no contractual agreement to pay interest. The supreme court held that the county complied with the contract, and it reversed the circuit court's interest award: "counties do not pay interest on their contracts, except in pursuance of an express agreement to do so; but that in actions originating in torts, they are liable to the same extent as private persons." Hosford, 11 Ill. at 176. The Hosford court contrasted the facts in that case with La Salle County v. Simmons, 10 Ill. 513 (1849). Hosford, 11 Ill. at 176.