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Scott v. Crown

Colorado Court of Appeals
765 P.2d 1043 (1988)


Crown Company (Crown) (defendant) entered into several contracts with Scott (Plaintiff) to purchase grain. The contracts provided that payment would be conditioned upon Scott’s delivery of the total quantity of grain purchased. The first of these contracts was completed, with delivery and payment made with no problems. The parties entered into two subsequent contracts under which Scott refused to perform. Scott had suffered nonpayment on an unrelated contract. When Scott was addressing the nonpayment with his banker, the banker told Scott that Crown was not the “best grain trader.” An agent for the Department of Agriculture had told Scott that there was a complaint against Crown for failing to pay to other farmers. When Crown sent trucks to load the grain, Scott refused. Scott told Crown’s driver that he had some questions to settle with Crown. Scott tried contacting Crown by telephone several times, but was unsuccessful. Crown did contact Scott through letter, stating that it had not breached the contract, but that Scott had by failing to deliver the grain. Crown sent a second letter stating that he considered the contracts breached, but that he would still perform if Scott would deliver the grain. Scott sent a letter to Crown insisting that Crown provide an adequate assurance of performance by paying for the grain before delivery. Scott sent this letter to Crown two weeks after he had refused to load the grain. Crown cancelled the contracts. Scott filed suit, alleging breach of contract because Crown did not pay for the grain prior to performance in response to Scott’s requests for adequate assurance of performance. Crown counterclaimed. The trial court entered judgment in favor of Scott and dismissed Crown’s counterclaim. Crown appealed to the Court of Appeals of Colorado.

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Holding and Reasoning (Plank, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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