Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon

Court of Appeals of New York, 1917.

222 N.Y. 88, 118 N.E. 214.

Dawson, pp. 298-301


Facts: Lucy made an exclusive endorsement deal with Wood.  Lucy would get half the profits on anything Wood put her endorsement on.  Lucy subsequently gave her endorsement to other products without Wood’s knowledge and without sharing the profits.  Wood sued, but Lucy claimed the endorsement deal wasn’t an enforceable contract because Wood didn’t actually promise to do anything.


Issue: Was there an enforceable contract?


Rule: An enforceable contract may be construed through an implied promise of one of the parties.


Analysis: Cardozo finds that there is an implicit promise on the part of Wood to try to put Lucy’s endorsements on stuff and sell it.


Conclusion: The court finds Lucy liable for breach of contract.


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