Thursday, December 26, 2013

Empire Machinery Co. v. Litton Business Telephone Systems case brief

Empire Machinery Co. v. Litton Business Telephone Systems case brief summary
566 P.2d 1044 (1977)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant machinery dealer sought review of a judgment from the trial court (Arizona), which granted summary judgment to appellees, telephone business and subsidiaries, in the machinery dealer's suit for breach of contract to install a telephone system.

CASE FACTS
The machinery dealer sued the telephone business and its subsidiaries for breach of a contract to install a telephone system. When the trial court granted summary judgment to the telephone business, the machinery dealer appealed.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and remanded. 
  • The court agreed that an account manager had no authority expressed or apparent to bind the telephone business. 
  • The machinery dealer was put on notice by a paragraph in the contract which said that the account manager had no authority to bind the telephone business by his actions. 
  • A letter was a request for an offer from the machinery dealer. 
  • An equipment sales agreement was issued in compliance with that request and was therefore an offer which required the telephone business' acceptance. 
  • The account manager had no apparent authority to bind the telephone business by his letter. 
  • Factual issues were presented, both as to whether the account manager's conduct was in furtherance of the telephone business' contractual obligations and whether he had authority, actual or apparent to do so. 
  • Such material, factual issues precluded the granting of summary judgment to either party.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed summary judgment for the telephone business and subsidiaries and remanded because fact issues, as to whether the account manager's conduct was in furtherance of the telephone business' contractual obligations and whether he had authority to do so, precluded the grant of summary judgment.


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