Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sylvan Crest Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States case brief

Sylvan Crest Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States case brief summary
150 F.2d 642 (1945)

Plaintiff appealed from a decision of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut that granted summary judgment in favor of defendant in a breach of contract action.

Plaintiff contracted with defendant for the delivery of trap rock to an airport construction site. Plaintiff brought a breach of contract action after defendant refused to request or accept delivery of the rock within a reasonable time. Summary judgment was granted in favor of defendant on the grounds that the contracts were illusory by virtue of defendant's unrestricted power of cancellation. Plaintiff appealed, and the court reversed.


  • The court held that when contracts lacked specific details for the time of delivery and delivery instructions, delivery within a reasonable time and a promise to give instructions were implied. 
  • The fact that the contracts allowed for cancellation at any time did not render them illusory, because defendant had alternatives, to either give delivery instructions or notice of cancellation within a reasonable time, that were alone sufficient consideration.

Summary judgment in favor of defendant reversed on the grounds that defendant's unrestricted right of cancellation did not make contracts illusory, because defendant had alternatives that standing alone were sufficient consideration to support the parties' promises.

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