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United States for the Use of Trane Co. v. Bond

586 A.2d 734 (1991)

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United States for the Use of Trane Co. v. Bond

Maryland Court of Appeals

586 A.2d 734 (1991)

Facts

Mech-Con Corporation executed a performance bond guaranteeing its completion of a federal heating and air-conditioning project. Albert Bond threatened his wife, Lorna Bond (defendant), with violence unless she joined him in signing the bond as a cosurety, which she did. Mech-Con could not comply with project requirements and declared bankruptcy, as did Albert. The United States (plaintiff), for the use of the Trane Company, sued Lorna in federal district court to recover on the bond. The key question was whether Lorna could assert the defense of duress against the federal government even though the government neither participated in nor knew of the duress. Maryland law applied to the case, so the district court certified the question to the Maryland Court of Appeals for resolution.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, C.J.)

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