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United States v. Progressive Enterprises

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
418 F.Supp. 662 (1976)


Progressive Enterprises, Inc. (Progressive) (defendant), in anticipation of winning a contract with the United States, sought a cast iron deaerator. Crane Company (Crane) (plaintiff) submitted an offer to supply the machine for $5,238.00, but required acceptance within 15 days. Progressive submitted its bid to the United States and won the contract, though it did so well beyond the 15-day period specified by Crane. Shortly thereafter Progressive affirmed the quoted price with Crane for the deaerator. Progressive then accepted the offer to sell by submitting a purchase order. Crane later contacted Progressive to inform it that it would need to pay $7,350.00 for the deaerator due to “rapidly escalating material costs.” Progressive submitted a second purchase order reflecting the new price. Crane delivered the machine to Progressive, but Progressive only paid the original agreed-upon price. Progressive asserted that Crane did not have a valid reason for modifying the contract. Crane brought suit for the difference in price, plus interest. Crane argued that Progressive acquiesced in the change and that its second purchase order effectively modified the contract.

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