Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bunge Corp. v. Recker case brief

Bunge Corp. v. Recker case brief summary
519 F.2d 449 (8th Cir. 1975)

Appellant grain dealer sought review of a ruling from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, which held that appellee farmer was liable in damages for breach of contract.

The grain dealer and farmer had entered into a written contract, which provided that the farmer would sell to the grain dealer 10,000 bushels of number 2 yellow soybeans. Subsequently, the farmer failed to deliver said soybeans and the grain dealer extended the time for delivery. Thereafter, the farmer still failed to provide the soybeans and the grain dealer filed a breach of contract action and sought damages. The district court found that the act of God defense did not apply and thus, the farmer was liable for breach of contract. Further, the district court found that the measure of damages should have been determined by the difference between the contract price and the market price on the date on which the grain dealer should have terminated the contract and demanded damages.


  • On appeal, the court found the farmer should have relied on the act of bad faith on the part of the grain dealer instead of relying on the act of God defense. 
  • Thus, the farmer should have affirmatively asserted the lack of good faith in his answer. 
  • Because said issue had not been determined by the district court with adequate notice to the grain dealer, the court vacated and remanded the matter.
The court vacated the district court's decision and remanded the matter in which the farmer would be granted permission to amend his pleading to raise the good faith issue for trial on that issue alone with a proper assessment of damages.

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