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Hessler v. Crystal Lake Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc.

Illinois Appellate Court, Second District
788 N.E.2d 405 (2003)


After learning of a promotional car, the Plymouth Prowler, to be offered by Chrysler Corporation, Donald Hessler (plaintiff) entered into a contract in February 1997 with Crystal Lake Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc. (Crystal) (defendant) to purchase a Prowler if and when Crystal received one. The parties’ agreed on a purchase price of $44,000 and a $5,000 deposit. The order specified that the car be delivered “ASAP.” Hessler was the first Crystal customer to place an order and put down a deposit on a Prowler. In September, Hessler learned that Crystal would receive a car. When he approached Crystal’s owner, Gary Rosenburg, about it, Rosenburg told Hessler that he would not sell him the car and that it was already committed to another customer. Hessler contacted 38 other dealers about a Prowler but did not obtain one. In October, Hessler learned that a Prowler had been delivered to Crystal. When he went to the dealership, Rosenburg refused to sell him the car. Hessler then purchased a Prowler from another dealer that day for $77,706. In researching Prowler prices through January 1998, Hessler did not see one priced lower than the one he purchased. Hessler sued Crystal for breach of contract. After a bench trial, the judge found in favor of Hessler and awarded him damages of $29,853, the difference between the Crystal contract price and the price Hessler paid to cover. Crystal appealed.

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