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Zapata Hermanos Sucesores, S.A. v. Hearthside Baking Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
313 F.3d 385 (2002)



Zapata Hermanos Sucesores, S.A. (Zapata) (plaintiff), a Mexican corporation, supplied cookie tins to Lennell (defendant), a U.S. wholesale cooker baker. Lennell failed to pay 110 invoices, amounting to almost $900,000. Zapata filed suit under the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), seeking the $900,000, prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees. The trial court granted judgment as a matter of law to Zapata on a majority of the invoices, awarding Zapata $850,000. The parties went to trial regarding the remaining invoices. Lennell did not introduce into evidence any reason for its failure to pay the invoices. During trial, the trial judge made numerous comments, many of them in front of the jury, regarding Lennell’s culpability for failing to pay the invoices. A jury returned a verdict in favor of Lennell on the remaining invoices. The trial judge awarded Zapata $350,000 in prejudgment interest and $550,000 in attorney’s fees. Lennell appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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