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Newton Tractor Sales, Inc. v. Kubota Tractor Corp.

Illinois Supreme Court
906 N.E.2d 520 (2009)


Facts

Newton Tractor Sales, Inc. (Newton) (plaintiff) contracted to buy VTE, a dealership authorized to sell equipment manufactured by Kubota Tractor Corp. (Kubota) (defendant). Michael Jacobson (defendant), a Kubota representative, told Newton and VTE that Newton could not become an authorized Kubota dealer until Kubota had terminated VTE’s authorization. Nevertheless, Jacobson promised Newton and VTE that there would be no issues, and that Kubota would authorize Newton once this occurred. Relying on that promise, VTE terminated its authorization deal with Kubota. Subsequently, Kubota denied Newton’s application to become an authorized Kubota dealer. Newton sued Kubota based on promissory estoppel, among other claims. The circuit court granted Kubota summary judgment, finding that promissory estoppel was not a valid cause of action in Illinois. The appellate court affirmed. Newton appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Garman, J.)

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