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Cole-McIntyre-Norfleet Co. v. Holloway

214 S.W. 817 (1919)

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Cole-McIntyre-Norfleet Co. v. Holloway

Tennessee Supreme Court

214 S.W. 817 (1919)

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Facts

On March 26, 1917, a salesman employed by Cole-McIntyre-Norfleet Co. (Cole) (defendant) visited Holloway’s (plaintiff) store and successfully solicited an order from Holloway for fifty barrels of meal, a perishable good. Cole provided that Holloway had until July 31, 1917 to request delivery of the meal, and would be charged for storage of any barrels not requested by this time. Cole’s salesman visited Holloway’s store once a week every week following Holloway’s order but never mentioned the order during these visits. On May 26, 1917, Holloway requested delivery of the barrels from Cole. However, Cole informed Holloway that it had never accepted his order and thus no contract existed. Between March 26, when the order was placed, and May 26, when Holloway requested delivery, the prices for meal significantly increased. Holloway brought suit to recover the excess in price in Tennessee state court. The circuit court and court of appeals both held that Cole’s unreasonable delay in informing Holloway that it did not accept the order actually amounted to acceptance itself, and thus a valid contract was formed. Cole appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lansden, C.J.)

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