James Baird Co. v. Gimbel Bros.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1933.

64 F.2d 344.

Dawson, pp. 395-398


Facts: The defendant, a linoleum seller, made a mistake as to how much linoleum was needed to build a new public building: they thought only half as much was needed as actually was required.  The defendant send out offers to a bunch of contractors to supply all the linoleum necessary to build the new building, but the offer price was basically half of what it should have been.  One plaintiff, having received the offer, put in a bid to build the state building based on that offer.  The defendant telegraphed all the contractors to let them know of the mistake.  But the state had already accepted the offer, and the plaintiff sent the defendant an acceptance.  The defendant denied that a contract had been made, and in a suit for breach of contract by the plaintiff, the trial court found for the defendant.  The plaintiff appealed, saying, in essence, that it was understood that the contractors would be making bids in reliance on the defendant’s offer to supply linoleum.




Rule: Ordinarily, if the offer was revoked before it is accepted, then the acceptance is too late.


Analysis: Hand finds there was no contract between the parties because putting in a bid could not be construed to constitute an acceptance of the Hand says that § 90 doesn’t apply because the defendant was bargaining for an acceptance, not a bid.




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