Thursday, December 26, 2013

Crane Ice Cream Co. v. Terminal Freezing & Heating Co. case brief

Crane Ice Cream Co. v. Terminal Freezing & Heating Co. case brief summary
128 A. 280 (1925)

The Superior Court of Baltimore City (Maryland) entered judgment for defendant seller in plaintiff assignee's breach of contract action.

The seller and the buyer entered into an agreement whereby the seller would supply the buyer with quantities of ice per week. The quantities were not explicitly established in the agreement because they were based upon the buyer's needs per week. The buyer then sold his ice cream business and assigned his interest in the agreement to the assignee. The seller notified the buyer that the agreement was at an end and declined to deliver any ice to the assignee. The assignee initiated an action against the seller for breach of contract. The trial court entered judgment for the seller finding that the rights and duties of the contract were of such a personal character that they could not be assigned.


  • On appeal, the court found that the assignment was unenforceable. 
  • The seller entered into the agreement with the buyer based upon his character, credit, and resources. 
  • Since the terms of the contract were undefined, the seller would be obligated to obey the demands of the assignee. 
  • The demands would create a new measure of ice to be supplied and a new term in the agreement that the seller never bound itself to perform.

The court affirmed the decision.

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