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Bethea v. Investors Loan Corporation

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
197 A.2d 448 (1964)


Facts

Gordon and Mary Bethea (defendants) signed a conditional sales contract with Standard Food Company. The contract was for the purchase of a food freezer. Bethea contended that this contract was inseparable from another contract in which Standard Food agreed to supply food at a discounted price. The Betheas were supplied with food for only four months, at which point Standard Food became bankrupt. The Betheas argued that the breach of the food agreement constituted a breach of the freezer contract, thereby relieving them from the freezer contract. Investors Loan Corporation (plaintiff) purchased the conditional sales contract from Standard Food and brought suit against Bethea for failing to pay on the contract. The Betheas introduced evidence showing that they purchased the freezer only as part of a food-discount plan offered by Standard Food. The Betheas already owned a freezer, and they maintained that their primary purpose was to obtain the food. The Betheas produced a signed certificate from Standard Foods stating that the food-supply agreement was financed on a four-month basis and could be renewed. The certificate also stated that the Betheas had the privilege of purchasing discounted food for as long as they wished. The trial court ruled against the Betheas, holding that there were two contracts: (1) the four-month food contract, which was fulfilled, and (2) the contract for the freezer, in which the Betheas were in default. Thus, the trial court entered judgment for Investors Loan. The Betheas appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Quinn, J.)

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