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DePugh v. Mead Corp.

Ohio Court of Appeals
607 N.E.2d 867, 79 Ohio App. 3d 503 (1992)


Facts

Mead Corporation (defendant) drafted a written agreement to buy clay “borrow” from Ray and Jo Ann DePugh (plaintiffs) to cap a landfill, but none of the parties signed it. Titled “Borrow Agreement,” the contract described the “sale of borrow” and licensed Mead to enter the DePugh property to build a road, remove and reserve several feet of topsoil, excavate the clay that lay underneath, and create a lake. The contract also conditioned the entire deal on regulatory approval. Mead never performed any part of the agreement. Instead, after six weeks, Mead sent a letter stating, “You and The Mead Corporation have agreed to settle the dispute with respect to the proposed Borrow Agreement whereby The Mead Corporation considered purchasing clay from you. . . . This letter is to confirm our agreement with respect to such settlement as follows: The rights and obligations described in the proposed Borrow Agreement are hereby terminated and shall be of no further force and effect.” The DePughs sued for breach of contract. The court granted Mead summary judgment, reasoning the agreement had to be signed to be enforceable. The DePughs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harsha, J.)

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