Tuesday, March 26, 2013

James Baird Co. v. Gimbel Brothers, Inc. case brief

James Baird Co. v. Gimbel Brothers, Inc. case brief summary
64 F.2d 344

Plaintiff contractor appealed a judgment of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, which directed a verdict for defendant merchant after plaintiff sued for breach of contract.

-Defendant merchant sent contractors who were likely to bid on a construction job an offer to supply material needed for the job at set prices.
-Defendant did not realize that he was mistaken about the total quantity of the material needed for the job.
-Plaintiff contractor received defendant's offer and bid on the construction job that same day, basing its bid on the prices quoted by defendant.
-Later that same day, defendant telegraphed a withdrawal of the offer to contractors, having learned of his mistake.
-Plaintiff formally accepted defendant's offer several days after receiving the telegraph and the written confirmation of withdrawal.
-Defendant refused to recognize a contract, and plaintiff sued for breach of contract.
-The trial court directed a verdict for defendant.

The court affirmed, holding that because the offer was withdrawn before it was accepted, the acceptance was too late.

-An offer for an exchange is not meant to become a promise until a consideration has been received, either a counter-promise or whatever else is stipulated.
-To extend it would be to hold the offeror regardless of the stipulated condition of his offer.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the trial court's judgment, finding that defendant had withdrawn his offer before it was accepted by plaintiff.

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