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Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co.

(1913)

Kentucky Court of Appeals - 160 S.W. 777, 156 Ky. 6

tl;dr:

A whiskey distributor and a distiller entered into an agreement where the distiller would supply the distributor with whiskey, but the distributor could return anything it didn't have a need for.

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Case Summary

In the 1913 case Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co., the Kentucky Court of Appeals rejected a whiskey wholesaler's claim, which was based on a distiller's promise to sell whiskey at fixed prices. The wholesaler sued for breach of contract when the distiller didn't deliver the full whiskey order. The distiller argued that there was no contract because the wholesaler didn't provide any consideration for the promise to sell.

The trial court sided with the distiller, and the appeals court agreed, stating that a valid contract requires either a benefit or detriment be provided. The court found that the wholesaler's promise to buy didn't create an adequate consideration since it wasn't enforceable. The court emphasized that contracts need to be mutually binding and enforceable by both parties.

This case set a precedent for rejecting claims based on promises without consideration, as it highlights how courts evaluate and apply the concept of consideration to determine a contract's validity. It also shows the distinction between enforceable contracts and non-binding promises.

ICRAIssue, Conclusion, Rule, Analysis for Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co.

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Facts & HoldingRehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co. case brief facts & holding

Facts:Rehm-Zeiher (“RZ”) is a company that distributes whiskey, and F.G....

Holding:Affirmed. A contract lacking mutuality of obligation between the parties...

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Rehm-Zeiher Co. v. F.G. Walker Co. | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: Judge Carroll
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The case involves a contract for the sale of whiskey, which lacked mutuality as it did not obligate the buyer to take any of the whiskey provided for in the contract. The lower court erred in directing a verdict in favor of the seller. The contract is a unilateral contract, binding only one party to do anything. The buyer can recover damages as the evidence showed that the seller did not demand or request that the buyer take the full amount of whiskey specified in the contract. The contract included a provision excusing the seller from filling the contract if they lost the whiskey or bottling room due to fire, which was the unforeseen reason referred to in the contract. Legal precedent states that contracts must have mutuality of obligation to be valid. The contract in question does not fall under the principle of an approximately accurate forecast as it does not specify the brand or name of the whiskey to be sold, and there is no evidence that the buyer had established an ascertainable volume of trade in the sale of the brand to determine the quantity of whiskey necessary to supply the demand for this brand.

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