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Bander v. Grossman

New York Supreme Court
611 N.Y.S.2d 985 (1994)


Facts

Neil Bander (plaintiff) purchased sports cars for his personal use that he would later resell for a profit when their price rose. In the summer of 1987, Bander entered into a contract to purchase a 1965 Aston-Martin for $40,000 from Robert Grossman (defendant), a sports car dealer. Bander gave Grossman a deposit of $5,000. However, Grossman had difficulty obtaining the title for the Aston-Martin and tried to return the deposit to Bander. In December 1987, Bander’s attorney sent Grossman a letter stating that Grossman was in breach of the contract. At that time, the Aston-Martin was worth approximately $60,000. However, the price of the Aston-Martin was on the rise, and Grossman eventually sold the Aston-Martin to another customer for $225,000. Shortly thereafter, in 1989, Bander sued Grossman for repudiation of their contract. At the time of trial, the Aston-Martin’s market price had decreased back down to $80,000. Pursuant to Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 2-713, the jury awarded Bander $20,000, calculated as the difference between: (1) the $60,000 market price of the Aston-Martin at the time that Bander learned of Grossman’s breach in December 1987, and (2) the $40,000 contract price. After the jury trial, Bander asked the trial court for judgment on his alternative request for monetary specific performance pursuant to UCC § 2-716. Bander argued that, under UCC § 2-716: (1) the Aston-Martin was a unique good and (2) he was entitled to specific-performance monetary damages in the form of a trust with the proceeds from Grossman’s sale of the car, plus interest from the date of sale.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lebedeff, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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