The best place for complete law school case briefs and law-related news.
Want to advertise or post sponsored content? contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Embry v. Hargadine, McKittrick Dry Goods Co. case brief summary
Hargadine, McKittrick Dry Goods Co. case brief summary
127 Mo.App. 383, 105 S.W. 777 (Mo. App. 1907). –this is the second
time this court dealt with this matter.
Embry (P) was an employee of Hargadine, McKittrick Dry Goods
[textile, fabric company] (D). He was paid $2,000 per year and was
responsible for the sample department. A written employment contract
between the parties expired on December 15, 1903.
A meeting occurred
eight days later at which Embry said that he would seek work
elsewhere unless his contract was renewed. Hargadine’s president,
McKittrick, told Embry ‘Go ahead, you’re all right. Get your men
out and don’t let that worry you.’ Embry remained with the
company until he was fired on February 15th.
having told Embry not to worry about his employment contract. At
trial the court gave a jury instruction regarding contract formation
and refused Embry’s proposed instructions. The jury was instructed
that it was necessary for both parties to have had a subjective
intent to contract or there would be no contract. The jury returned a
verdict in favor of D and P appealed based on the jury instruction.
May a contract be formed without reference to the subjective
intentions of either party?
Holding and Rule:
Yes. A contract may be formed without reference to the subjective
intentions of either party.
To form a valid
contract there must be a meeting of the minds and both parties must
agree to the same thing in the same sense. If a man conducts himself
such that a reasonable person would believe that he was assenting to
the terms proposed by another party, and that other party upon that
belief enters into the contract, that man would be equally bound
whether or not he had actual subjective intent. Therefore if what
McKittrick said would have been taken by a reasonable man to be an
employment contract, and P understood it as such, it constituted a
valid contract of employment for the ensuing year. McKittrick’s
subjective intent was not relevant.
Reversed and remanded. Court said Embry had a right to rely on the
response and actions of Mr. Ms.Kittricks. If you manifest an intent
to do something, then the expectation is that people will have to
rely on it.