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Hicks v. Bush

180 N.E.2d 425 (1962)

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Hicks v. Bush

New York Court of Appeals

180 N.E.2d 425 (1962)

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Facts

Frederick Hicks (plaintiff) and shareholders of the Clinton G. Bush Company (defendant) signed a written agreement to merge corporate interests into a single holding company. Hicks transferred his stock to the new company, but the Bush shareholders refused, claiming that they signed the merger subject to a verbal understanding that it would become effective only upon raising equity-expansion funds of $672,500, which had not been raised. One witness described the understanding as “get the money or no deal.” Hicks sued for specific performance, claiming that the oral condition was never mentioned, and that the only condition the agreement required was acceptance of the parties’ stock subscriptions within 25 days. The trial court ruled against Hicks, finding that the oral condition precedent precluded a binding merger agreement. Hicks appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fuld, J.)

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