Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nanakuli Paving & Rock Co. v. Shell Oil Co. case brief

Nanakuli Paving & Rock Co. v. Shell Oil Co. case brief summary
664 F.2d 772 (9th Cir. 1981)

Appellant paving company, in its action for breach of contract, sought review of an order of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii that entered judgment notwithstanding the verdict in appellee oil company's favor.

Appellant brought suit claiming a breach of a contract to sell asphalt by the appellee. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the appellant awarding damages. The trial court set aside the verdict of the jury.


  • On review, the court determined that the Uniform Commercial Code in Hawaii required the court to look at external circumstances in order to determine the intent of the parties to a contract. 
  • The court also held that the unique circumstances of the market on Oahu and in Hawaii in general created a general trade usage of price protection in the sale of asphalt. 
  • The court found the trial court did not err in allowing evidence of trade usage to be admitted into the record, and found sufficient evidence supported the jury's verdict in favor of the appellant. 
  • The judgment of the trial court was reversed and the jury verdict was reinstated.
Judgment notwithstanding the verdict was reversed and jury verdict reinstated because the verdict in favor of the appellant was supported by sufficient evidence of trade usage of price protection.

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