Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co. case brief

Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co. case brief summary
160 S.W. 777 (Ky. App. 1913)

Appellant wholesaler filed a breach of contract against appellee distiller after the distiller refused to sell cases of whiskey to the wholesaler. The Jefferson Circuit Court, Common Pleas Branch, Fourth Division (Kentucky) entered a directed verdict in favor of the distiller. The wholesaler appealed.

The parties entered into a multi-year contract for the purchase and sale of cases of whiskey at pre-established prices. The contract provided that the wholesaler could purchase any number of cases per year up to a prescribed limit. The wholesaler could choose to not purchase any cases if it so desired. In the fourth year of the contract, the price of whisky rose substantially. The wholesaler demanded the entire year's allotment. The distiller delivered about one-fourth of the demand. The wholesaler argued that the contract was an enforceable mutual agreement.

  • The court affirmed the directed verdict that was entered in favor of the distiller. 
  • The court held that the wholesaler's action was not cognizable because the contract lacked mutuality of obligation. 
  • The court stated that contracts that were valid must be mutual and binding upon both parties. 
  • The court found that the mutuality was lacking because the contract was not binding on the wholesaler, and that it was not enforceable by the distiller.
In the wholesaler's breach of contract action against the distiller, the directed verdict that was entered in favor of the distiller was affirmed.

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