Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Copeland v. Baskin Robbins U.S.A. case brief

Copeland v. Baskin Robbins U.S.A. case brief summary
117 Cal.Rptr.2d 875 (2002)

Plaintiff purchaser sought review of the order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California, granting defendant ice cream manufacturer summary judgment in plaintiff's action for breach of contract.

A national ice cream brand announced its intention to close a manufacturing plant in Vernon, California. An individual purchaser expressed an interest in acquiring it. The parties commenced negotiations. The purchaser made clear from the outset his agreement to purchase the plant was contingent on an agreement to purchase the ice cream he manufactured there. When the parties failed to reach an agreement on the ice cream, the purchaser filed suit for breach of contract. The manufacturer defended, claiming the agreement to agree could not be made the basis of a cause of action.


  • The manufacturer was entitled to summary judgment. 
  • Reliance damages were the only form of recovery available in an action on a contract to negotiate an agreement. 
  • Here, the manufacturer showed through the purchaser's complaint and discovery responses he could not establish reliance damages.

The judgment was affirmed.

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