Herrick V. Wild Blue Berry

In: Other Topics

Submitted By mjcarothers
Words 318
Pages 2
Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, 1996.
670 A.2d 944.
BACKGROUND AND FACTS E. S. Herrick Company grows and sells blueberries. Maine Wild Blueberry Company agreed to buy all of Herricks 1990 crop under a contract that left the price unliquidated. Herrick delivered the berries, but a dispute arose over the price. Maine Wild sent Herrick a check with a letter that stated the check was the final settlement. Herrick cashed the check but filed a suit in a Maine state court against Maine Wild, on the ground of breach of contract, alleging that the buyer owed more. The court awarded Herrick some, but not all, of the damages sought. Both parties appealedHerrick contended that it was owed more, and Maine Wild that it owed less.
Question* * * [A]n accord and satisfaction is created by cashing a check that is accompanied by a letter bearing restrictive language.
* * * *
Maine Wild considered the check to be the final payment. Herricks president admitted that he read the letter that included the language regarding final settlement but interpreted it as a statement made by Maine Wild not as a condition between them. He admits that he cashed the check, but that it did not occur to him that by cashing the check he was surrendering any claim under the contract.
* * * The language in the letter, however, was unambiguous. It represented final settlement, and there is no exchange of correspondence of such a nature as to create doubt as to what Maine Wild intended or should reasonably have been understood by Herrick. * * * The law gave [Herrick] the choice of accepting the check on [Maine Wilds] terms or of returning it.
Held:The Supreme Judicial Court held that the accord and satisfaction created by Herricks cashing the check barred any recovery.
The court vacated (set aside, nullified) the lower courts award and remanded the…...

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