Delano Growers’ Cooperative Winery v. Supreme Wine Co., Inc.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
473 N.E.2d 1066 (1985)
Delano Growers’ Cooperative Winery (Delano) (plaintiff) supplied wine to Supreme Wine Company, Incorporated (Supreme) (defendant) for sale to retail customers. Much of Delano’s wine that Delano had sold to Supreme had been spoiled due to Fresno mold. Many of Supreme’s customers returned Delano wine that they had purchased. Supreme made several complaints via telephone to Delano about problems with the wine. Supreme sent samples of the wine back to Delano. Supreme also stopped purchasing wine from Delano for a period. Supreme resumed purchasing wine with assurances from Delano that Delano would assist Supreme with problems with the wine. The wine still contained Fresno mold. Eventually, Delano’s assistant winemaker visited Supreme’s plant after Supreme sent a letter to Delano’s manager. The assistant winemaker confirmed the existence of Fresno mold. The assistant winemaker instructed Supreme on how to reprocess the defective wine so that it could be sold at a reduced rate. Supreme withheld its last payment to Delano. Delano sued Supreme for payment, and Supreme made a counterclaim. Delano’s complaint was dismissed. Supreme was awarded $160,634 on its counterclaim. Delano was granted an offset of $25,823.25. Delano appealed, arguing that Supreme’s counterclaim should have been dismissed because the notice of the breach was insufficient and untimely.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nolan, J.)
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