Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino, S.P.A. case brief

MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino, S.P.A. case brief summary
144 F.3d 1384 (1998)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff retailer appealed a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, that granted summary judgment in favor of defendant manufacturer. Plaintiff argued that the court below improperly ignored evidence that plaintiff submitted regarding the parties' subjective intent at the time of contracting, and that the parol evidence rule was erroneously applied in derogation of controlling law.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff retailer sought review of a judgment entered in the court below that granted summary judgment in favor of defendant manufacturer. Plaintiff contended that evidence of the parties' subjective intent at the time of contracting was improperly excluded because the parol evidence rule was erroneously applied in derogation of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) that governed judicial interpretation of the parties' agreement.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed the lower court's decision and remanded the cause for further proceedings. 
  • The court held that the CISG did preclude application of the parol evidence rule. 
  • Furthermore, the court held that summary judgment was precluded because plaintiff had presented evidence that raised an issue of material fact about whether the parties subjectively intended to be bound by terms contained on the reverse side of a preprinted contract used to memorialize the terms of their agreement.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment below and remanded the case. The court held that the applicable law that governed interpretation of contracts for the international sale of goods precluded summary judgment because plaintiff retailer had raised an issue of material fact concerning the parties' subjective intent to be bound by terms on the back of a preprinted contract, and also held that the law precluded application of the parol evidence rule.

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