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Frostifresh Corp. v. Reynoso

Supreme Court, Appellate Term, Second Department, New York
281 N.Y.S.2d 964 (1967)


Facts

Frostifresh Corp. (Frostifresh) (plaintiff) is a dealer of home appliances. A Spanish-speaking Frostifresh salesman entered into negotiations with Reynoso (defendant), a Spanish speaker, to sell Reynoso a refrigerator-freezer. The negotiations were conducted solely in Spanish. Reynoso told the salesman that he was losing his job in one week and could not afford the refrigerator-freezer. The salesman ignored this statement and told Reynoso the unit would be paid for by commissions credited to Reynoso’s account for referring new customers to Frostifresh. The salesman submitted an installment contract written solely in English offering to sell Reynoso the refrigerator-freezer for $1,145.88. Reynoso signed the contract, but defaulted after paying Frostifresh $32.00. Frostifresh brought suit in New York state court against Reynoso for breach of contract. At trial, Frostifresh testified that the actual value of the refrigerator-freezer sold to Reynoso was only $348.00. The trial court determined that the contract between Reynoso and Frostifresh was void due to unconscionability. The trial court held Reynoso was only liable for the actual cost of the refrigerator-freezer to Frostifresh minus the amount already paid on the contract, or $316.00 total. Frostifresh appealed.

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