Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Brower v. Gateway 2000, Inc. case brief

Brower v. Gateway 2000, Inc. case brief summary
676 N.Y.S.2d 569 (N.Y. Sup. 1998)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant purchasers challenged the order of the Supreme Court, New York County (New York), which granted respondent seller's motion to dismiss the purchasers' complaint on the ground that there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between the parties.

CASE FACTS
The purchasers alleged deceptive sales practices against the seller of computers and software products. The seller's procedure was to ship standard terms and conditions of the parties' agreement that included an arbitration clause to the purchaser.

DISCUSSION

  • The court granted the seller's motion to dismiss based on the parties' valid arbitration agreement. 
  • The court modified the order that required arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce because it found the cost excessive and that it deterred individual consumers from invoking the arbitration process. 
  • The arbitration clause was not invalid under U.C.C. § 2-207 because the clause was not a material alteration of an oral agreement, but rather one provision of the sole contract that existed between the parties. 
  • The contract was therefore outside the scope of § 2-207. 
  • The court held that an enforceable contract was formed only with the consumer's decision to retain the merchandise beyond the 30-day period specified in the agreement. 
  • Thus, the agreement as a whole, including the arbitration clause, was enforceable.
CONCLUSION
The court granted the seller's motion to dismiss the purchasers' complaint based on the parties' valid arbitration agreement. The court modified the order that required arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce as excessive.

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