Thursday, December 26, 2013

Universal Computer Systems v. Medical Services Association of Pennsylvania case brief

Universal Computer Systems v. Medical Services Association of Pennsylvania case brief summary
628 F.2d 820 (1980)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant computer systems provider sought review of the judgment of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, that granted appellee company's motion for judgment non obstante veredicto and entered judgment for appellee. Appellee cross-appealed the denial of its motion for a new trial. Appellant contended that it was entitled to damages for appellee's breach of promise.

CASE FACTS
Appellant computer systems provider desired to respond to appellee company's solicitation of bids and was promised assistance by appellee's agent. After the agent failed to provide the assistance and appellant's bid was not received timely and was rejected, appellant brought suit and obtained a jury verdict against appellee. The lower court granted appellee's motion for judgment non obstante veredicto and entered judgment for appellee and denied appellee's motion for a new trial. Appellant sought review of the judgment n.o.v. and appellee cross-appealed the denial of its motion for a new trial.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and remanded and held that the lower court erred in holding that appellant should have known that certain federal regulations were applicable to the bidding process and that the agent lacked apparent authority to make the promise. 
  • The court held that the promise should have been enforced on the principles of promissory estoppel because it was of such a nature and made under such circumstances that the promisor should have reasonably anticipated that it would have induced action of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded held that appellant computer systems provider was entitled to rely on a promise made by appellee's agent under the principle of promissory estoppel and that the jury's verdict awarding appellant damages should be reinstated. The court held that the denial of appellee company's motion for a new trial was proper and affirmed that ruling.

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