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The Selmer Company v. Blakeslee-Midwest Company

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
704 F.2d 924 (7th Cir. 1983)


The Selmer Company (Selmer) (plaintiff) was hired as a subcontractor for Blakeslee-Midwest Company (Blakeslee) (defendant). The subcontract required Selmer to erect concrete supplied by Blakeslee. Blakeslee failed to supply concrete as required by the subcontract. Although Selmer was entitled to terminate the subcontract, Selmer instead agreed to complete the job if Blakeslee paid for the extra cost of completion. Upon completion of the project, Selmer demanded payment of $120,000.00. Blakeslee refused to pay any more than $67,000.00. Selmer agreed to settle for $67,000.00, because it was undergoing financial difficulties at the time. Selmer later sued Blakeslee to recover the difference between the cost of completion, which was $150,000.00, and the $67,000.00 Blakeslee had paid. Selmer sought to avoid the settlement by arguing that it had accepted it under economic duress. Blakeslee argued that the settlement agreement barred Selmer’s recovery. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Selmer appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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