Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Acme Markets, Inc. v. Federal Armored Express, Inc. case brief

Acme Markets, Inc. v. Federal Armored Express, Inc. case brief summary
648 A.2d 1218 (1994)

Appellant grocery chain challenged the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County (Pennsylvania), which granted summary judgment to appellee armored car service, in appellant's breach of contract action.

Appellant grocery chain alleged that it and appellee armored car service had entered into a contract for armored car service and that the agreement later was amended to provide for the timely reimbursement of service-related losses. Appellant brought a breach of contract action after it alleged that a robber stole one of appellant's cash bags in appellee's possession and appellee refused to reimburse appellant. Appellee sought and was granted summary judgment based on a contract provision that required appellee to sign a receipt before it retained possession of the cash bag.


  • On appeal the court reversed and remanded, holding that the receipt provision was a condition precedent, but that it could be excused if it was not a material part of the contract, as the law abhorred forfeitures. 
  • The court ordered an evidentiary hearing on remand to determine the purpose of the receipt requirement and to weigh its materiality against appellant's loss.
The court reversed and remanded because, although a receipt provision in the parties' contract was a condition precedent, it could be excused if not material in order to avoid a forfeiture. The court remanded for a determination of the materiality of the receipt provision.

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