Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eastern Air Lines, Inc. v. McDonnell Douglas Corp. case brief

Eastern Air Lines, Inc. v. McDonnell Douglas Corp. case brief summary
532 F.2d 957 (1976)

Appellant airline manufacturer challenged a jury verdict entered in favor of appellee corporation from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, asserting that it had an excusable delay in breaching several contracts with appellee.

Appellee corporation entered into a contract with appellant airline manufacturer in which appellant contractually agreed to make 100 jet planes to assist in appellee's technological conversion. Conflict arose when the transfer of the commercial planes commenced several years after the agreed upon delivery time. Specifically, appellee brought collective breach of contract actions against defendant asserting that it was entitled to substantial damages. A jury trial progressed, and appellant was found without any reasonable excuse for the delay. Appellant challenged the decision, asserting that the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA) 50 App. U.S.C.S. § 2061 et seq., allowed it a late delivery where national security was prioritized.

Upon final determination, the court of appeals reversed and remanded, holding that a new trial was warranted because the district court improperly omitted jury explanations of the DPA and evidence of appellee's failure to give notice of the breached contracts.

The court reversed the judgment and ordered a new trial.

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