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Neumiller Farms, Inc. v. Cornett

Supreme Court of Alabama
368 So.2d 272 (1979)


Facts

Cornett (plaintiff) is a grower of potatoes. Neumiller Farms, Inc. (Neumiller) (defendant) is a merchant buyer of potatoes. Neumiller buys potatoes from growers and sells them to manufacturers of potato chips. Neumiller entered into a contract to purchase twelve loads of potatoes from Cornett at $4.25 per hundredweight. Neumiller accepted three loads from Cornett without issue. After Cornett delivered these three loads, however, the market price of potatoes fell to $2.00 per hundredweight. Neumiller rejected any future deliveries of potatoes from Cornett, stating that the potatoes were of inferior quality. Cornett hired an expert to test the potatoes. The expert stated that the potatoes were of good quality. Cornett also submitted for delivery a load of potatoes purchased from a third party grower. Neumiller recently purchased a load of potatoes from the third party grower at $2.00 per hundredweight, but refused to accept the load from this grower tendered by Cornett on the ground that the potatoes were inferior. Cornett offered to purchase potatoes from other growers to fulfill its contract with Neumiller, but Neumiller refused. Cornett attempted to sell its potatoes elsewhere, but was only able to sell four loads due to poor market conditions. Cornett brought suit in Alabama state court against Neumiller for breach of contract. The trial court awarded Cornett $17,500 in damages, and Neumiller appealed.

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