Essco Geometric v. Harvard Industries
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
46 F.3d 718 (1995)
Harvard Industries, Inc. (defendant) manufactured chairs. Generally, Harvard’s purchasing manager had the unilateral authority to select a foam supplier and negotiate the contract. After Ed Kruske became Harvard’s president, Harvard implemented a new policy under which selection of suppliers required Kruske’s approval. Harvard never communicated the new policy to anyone outside the company. However, evidence indicated that the new policy was a mere formality and that Kruske never declined to approve a supplier or contract. Contemporaneously, Harvard’s performance review of its purchasing manager, Michael Gray, stated the company’s intention that Gray take a more active role in managing his department. Subsequently, Gray agreed to a contract with Essco Geometrics, Inc. (d/b/a Diversified) (plaintiff), under which Diversified would be Harvard’s principal foam supplier for a government contract. Kruske did not approve the contract. When Kruske learned of Gray’s agreement with Diversified, he stopped orders to Diversified and, upon receiving a new bid from American Excelsior, a Diversified competitor, made American Excelsior Harvard’s principal foam supplier. Diversified brought suit for breach of contract. Gray testified that he believed his agreeing to the contract with Diversified was part of his job as purchasing manager. Further, testimony indicated that industry custom was for purchasing managers to have unilateral authority to enter into supply contracts. Harvard filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law. The district court denied the motion, and the jury returned a verdict for Diversified. Harvard appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bright, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.