United States v. Braunstein
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
75 F. Supp. 137 (1947)
The United States government (plaintiff) issued a public notice soliciting bids to purchase 9,599 boxes of spoiled raisins. Sidney Braunstein (defendant) was considering using the raisins to make alcohol and responded via telegram on August 3, offering to buy the boxes at ten cents per pound. The government responded via telegram on August 9, purportedly accepting Braunstein’s offer, but mistakenly writing 10 cents per box instead of 10 cents per pound. This clerical error produced a price difference of about $23,000. Braunstein did not respond to this correspondence, or to a subsequent telegram in which the government sought to correct its error. Ultimately, the government sold the raisins to another party at a loss. The government sued Braunstein for breach of contract. Braunstein filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the parties’ exchange of telegrams did not constitute a contract.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Medina, J.)
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