Contracts II, Pages 980–985

Unke v. Thorpe

Supreme Court of South Dakota, 1953

Facts:

Defendants agreed in writing to deliver plaintiff 600 to 800 bushels of alfalfa seed but only delivered him 301 bushels. Defendants claim that they agreed to sell their 1950 crop and that plaintiff insisted on a hard figure merely as a limit so that defendants could not sell crops they did not grow if the price went down.

Procedural History:

Trial court dismissed the case.

Issue:

Was plaintiff liable for delivering more alfalfa seed than he produced?

Rule:

Restatement First of Contracts § 460

Reasoning:

Plaintiff came to defendants' farm and inspected their seed and treshing thereof before agreeing to buy it. This makes it clear that the parties were intending to contract for just the alfalfa seed grown by defendants. Defendants gave plaintiff all that they grew however, and that was not enough to satisfy the contract, so it was impossible to fulfill the contract.

Holding:

No, defendants were not liable for delivering alfalfa seed they did not grow. Affirmed.

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