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Southwest Engineering Co. v. Martin Tractor Co., Inc.

Supreme Court of Kansas
473 P.2d 18 (1970)


Southwest Engineering Co. (Southwest) (plaintiff), a general contractor, desired to bid on a government contract to construct lighting facilities at a military base. With a need for generator equipment as a component of the project, Southwest’s construction superintendent, R.E. Cloepfil, contacted Martin Tractor Co. (Martin) (defendant) to price the equipment. On April 12, 1966, a manager at Martin, Ken Hurt, quoted a price of $18,500, and reconfirmed such price by phone on April 13. Southwest submitted a bid for the project on April 14, relying on Martin’s quote of $18,500. The bid was accepted and Southwest reported the acceptance to Martin. On April 28, Cloepfil and Hurt met to discuss the project, at which point the price quote from Martin was increased from $18,500 to $21,500. Notwithstanding Cloepfil’s astonishment over the increase, the men agreed to a sale of the generator equipment for $21,500. They raised, but did not agree upon, a schedule of payment for the equipment. On May 2, Cloepfil submitted a written request to Martin to proceed with drawings and related documentation for the work. On May 24, Hurt wrote a letter to Cloepfil stating that Martin could not proceed as directed because of restrictions and other stipulations imposed by the government and that it was therefore withdrawing “all verbal quotations.” Southwest sued Martin for breach of contract, to which Martin responded that no contract had been formed because no payment terms were agreed upon. The trial court found that an agreement was in fact formed at the meeting on April 28, and judgment was entered for Southwest after a bench trial. Martin appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fontron, J.)

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