United States District Court for the Southern District of New York - 88 F. Supp. 2d 116
In the case of Leonard v. PepsiCo (1999), the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on a breach of contract claim related to redeeming Pepsi Points for a Harrier Jet. The plaintiff, John D.R. Leonard, participated in PepsiCo's "Pepsi Stuff" promotion, which allowed consumers to collect points and exchange them for merchandise. A TV commercial featured various items, including a Harrier Jet advertised for 7 million Pepsi Points.
Leonard obtained 15 Pepsi Points and sent a check for $700,008.50 to PepsiCo, requesting the Harrier Jet. PepsiCo rejected his order, stating the commercial was meant to be humorous and not a serious offer. Leonard sued for breach of contract, seeking either specific performance or damages. PepsiCo moved for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.
The court sided with PepsiCo, finding no valid contract due to no objective manifestation of mutual assent. The commercial was considered a joke or exaggeration, and even if it was an offer, it lacked essential terms. There was no meeting of the minds or consideration for a binding contract.
This case highlights legal principles involved in contract formation and interpretation, such as offer and acceptance, definiteness of terms, and humor in advertising. It is relevant for understanding rights and obligations in the context of offers or claims.
The court is considering whether PepsiCo breached a contract with the plaintiff by refusing to provide a Harrier jet in exchange for submitted Pepsi Points and payment. The lower court did not err in granting summary judgment as the Harrier Jet commercial was not specific enough to be considered an offer, and the absence of any words of limitation renders the alleged offer too indefinite to form a contract. Advertisements are generally invitations to negotiate and do not create a power of acceptance in the recipient. The court distinguishes between ordinary advertisements and promises of reward, citing legal cases involving offers of reward to support their argument. The Harrier Jet commercial was not a unilateral offer but an advertisement, and the plaintiff's reliance on "prove me wrong" cases is misplaced. Summary judgment is appropriate in contract cases when the non-moving party's interpretation is not "fairly reasonable."
LSD+ gives you access to over 50,000 case briefs, more than anyone else. Be the first to email us the website of a case brief product that offers you more case briefs and we'll give you a free year of LSD+.
Unlimited access. Read as much content as you want during your trial with no device limitations. Cancel any time during your trial and keep access for the full 14 days.
Lawyers and judges love to use big words. And Latin, for some reason.
Highlight a legal term in LSD Briefs and get an instant, plain English definition. Try highlighting contract or specific performance. No need to search or read through a list of definitions, simply highlight the words you don’t know and our LSDefine integration will instantly give you a definition to any of over 30,000 legal terms.
DeepDive allows you to explore legal cases like never before. DeepDive offers multiple levels of case summaries, which empowers you to quickly and easily find the information you need to stay on top of readings. Easily navigate through summary levels and click on any text to get more detail, all the way down to the original legal case text.
Our proprietary state-of-the-art system can instantly brief over 6,000,000 US cases. That means we can probably brief that case that your professor assigned last night when she sent you a poorly scanned pdf and told you to read every third paragraph. Or maybe she uploaded it to Canvas and didn’t really tell you to read it, but you know you probably should. Tenure does wild things to good people.
Study groups are a great way to learn and explore a case. LSD has chat rooms for each case to let you ask questions across the community and hear what other students struggled with and how they put it all together. Learn the key points of every case from other LSD+ users and share your knowledge with LSD High Points.
Don’t settle for mistakes in briefs that have been there for 10 years and never fixed. Find an issue or something missing from a brief? Down vote and we will make improvements. All of our case brief editors graduated from from T14 law schools.