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Brookside Farms v. Mama Rizzo’s, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
873 F. Supp. 1029 (1995)


Facts

Brookside Farms (Brookside) (plaintiff) and Mama Rizzo’s, Inc. (MRI) (defendant) entered into a requirements contract whereby Brookside promised to supply fresh basil leaves. The price for the basil was seasonally based. MRI agreed to pay $3.80 per pound in the growing season and $5.00 per pound in the non-growing season. After entering into the contract, MRI requested that Brookside remove the stems from the basil leaves. Brookside agreed and MRI promised to pay an additional $0.50 per pound for the removal. MRI promised to note this change on its copy of the original contract due to the contract clause forbidding oral modifications. This notation was never provided to Brookside. Following this change, 12 purchase orders were filled and invoiced at the new price. There were two additional price modifications. MRI issued 15 purchase orders under the first modification and 67 purchase orders under the second. Each of these were filled and paid for. MRI then issued 21 purchase orders, which were filled and invoiced by Brookside. MRI accepted these orders and issued a check for them, but its bank refused to honor the check due to insufficient funds. These final orders equalled 3,041 pounds of basil. Brookside filed suit and sought payment for the final 21 purchase orders. Brookside filed a motion for partial summary judgment, claiming that it is entitled to payment for the 3,041 pounds of basil delivered, but not paid for. MRI filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming breach of contract by Brookside and seeking damages for any amount paid to Brookside over and above the prices originally agreed to in the contract. 

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kent, J.)

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