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Ferrero Construction Co. v. Dennis Rourke Corp.

Court of Appeals of Maryland
536 A.2d. 1137 (1988)


In 1981, Dennis Rourke Corp. (plaintiff) purchased two lots of land from Ferrero Construction Co. (defendant). The parties agreed that Rourke would have a first right of refusal on the future sale of any of the remaining surrounding lots owned by Ferrero. In 1984, Ferrero received a third-party offer to buy one of those lots and notified Rourke, who exercised its right and matched the offer. However, Ferrero ultimately declined to sell, rejecting both offers. Rourke sued for specific performance. The trial court held that Ferrero’s 1984 notice to Rourke was an offer which Rourke accepted by exercising its right of first refusal. However, the court held that the contract was nevertheless void because the right of first refusal violated the rule against perpetuities. The Court of Special Appeals reversed, holding that the rule against perpetuities did not apply and the right of first refusal was valid.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Eldridge, J.)

Dissent (Cole, J.)

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