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Tesoro Petroleum Corp. v. Holborn Oil Co., Ltd.

New York Supreme Court, New York County
547 N.Y.S.2d 1012 (1989)


Facts

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. (Tesoro) (plaintiff) agreed to sell 10 million gallons of gasoline to Holborn Oil Co., Ltd. (Holborn) (defendant). The contract price was $1.30 per gallon. The market price for gasoline fell to $0.80 per gallon, and Holborn refused to fulfill its contractual obligation to buy the gasoline at the $1.30 price, which is called repudiating the contract. In reaction to Holborn’s repudiation of the $1.30 contract, Tesoro sought out a new buyer for the same gasoline shipment. Tesoro resold the gasoline to Esso Sapa for $1.10 per gallon. Tesoro sued Holborn for breach of contract. Both parties moved for summary judgment on damages. Tesoro argued that damages should be the difference between the contract price and the market price, which was about $5 million. Holborn argued that damages should be the difference between the contract price and the resale price, which was about $2 million.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lehner, J.)

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  • 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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