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Patton v. Mid-Continent Systems, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
841 F.2d 742 (1988)


Facts

Patton and a fellow truck-stop owner (plaintiffs) became franchisees of Mid-Continent Systems, Inc. (Mid-Continent) (defendant). Pursuant to their agreement, Mid-Continent awarded plaintiffs the right within an exclusive territory to accept Mid-Continent’s credit cards for purchases at plaintiffs’ truck stops. Mid-Continent later awarded other franchises to truck stops within plaintiffs’ exclusive territory, the extent of which territory was ambiguously described in the contract. Despite receiving notice, year after year, by plaintiffs of Mid-Continent’s violation, Mid-Continent did not remedy the situation. Plaintiffs sued Mid-Continent for breach of contract. A jury issued a verdict in favor of plaintiffs and awarded them compensatory and punitive damages. Mid-Continent appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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