Avalon Products v. Lentini

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtWILSON; MOORE, P. J., and McCOMB
Citation98 Cal.App.2d 177,219 P.2d 485
PartiesAVALON PRODUCTS, Inc. v. LENTINI. Civ. 17709.
Decision Date23 June 1950

Page 485

219 P.2d 485
98 Cal.App.2d 177
AVALON PRODUCTS, Inc.
v.
LENTINI.
Civ. 17709.
District Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2, California.
June 23, 1950.
Hearing Denied Aug. 17, 1950.

[98 Cal.App.2d 178] Sanner, Fleming & Irwin, John Amos Fleming, Los Angeles, for appellant.

Walter R. Powers, Los Angeles, for respondent.

WILSON, Justice.

From a judgment in favor of plaintiff in an action for damages for breach of contract, defendant appeals.

Page 486

As ground for reversal appellant contends the contract is invalid and unenforceable.

Respondent is a distributor of commercial ice cream freezers under a license agreement from the manufacturers. Prior to July 26, 1948, there were negotiations between appellant and one of respondent's salesmen with respect to the purchase by appellant of certain ice cream freezer equipment. On that date appellant called at respondent's office and executed a purcase order for specified equipment. At the time he executed the order, appellant gave respondent's sales manager his check for $435 on account. The purchase order, which is the contract sued upon herein, contains a description of the goods ordered, the delivery date, the purchase price less the amount of the down payment and under special instructions is written [98 Cal.App.2d 179] the following: 'Method of payment to be agreed upon before delivery.'

At the time of the execution of the purchase order respondent's sales manager drew an order directed to the manufacturer and appellant approved the electrical specifications by signing his name on a copy thereof. Either the same day or within a day or two after the execution of the order appellant stopped payment on the check he had given as a down payment and thereafter notified respondent in writing that he would not accept or pay for the equipment. Respondent cancelled its order with the factory and the machinery was never shipped.

Appellant concedes that if the order were silent as to the terms of payment it would, upon proper acceptance by respondent, have constituted a valid contract. He contends, however, that the words 'Method of payment to be agreed upon before delivery' in the putative contract indicate that the minds of the parties had not met upon one of the essential terms and that the contract was therefore incomplete.

The law leans against the destruction of contracts because of uncertainty and favors an interpretation which will carry into effect the reasonable intention...

To continue reading

Request your trial
17 practice notes
  • Anderson v. Whipple, No. 7555
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 30, 1951
    ...sustain a judgment for damages at law. Store Properties v. Neal, 72 Cal.App.2d 112, 164 P.2d 38; Avalon Productions v. Lentini, Cal.App., 219 P.2d 485. In this case the jurors were not instructed that the contract alleged in defendants' answer must be established by clear and convincing evi......
  • Coleman Engineering Co. v. North Am. Aviation, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 12, 1966
    ...176 Cal.App.2d 719, 730, 1 Cal.Rptr. 500; Putman v. Cameron, 129 Cal.App.2d 89, 95, 276 P.2d 102; Avalon Products, Inc. v. Lentini, 98 Cal.App.2d 177, 179, 219 P.2d 485; 1 Corbin, Contracts (1963 ed.) § 29, pp. Whether a term is 'essential' 'depends upon the relative importance and the seve......
  • Copeland v. Baskin Robbins U.S.A., No. B149851.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 19, 2002
    ...Dealing and Failed Negotiations" (1987) 87 Colum. L.Rev. 217, 251. (Hereafter Farnsworth.) 10. Avalon Products, Inc. v. Lentini (1950) 98 Cal.App.2d 177, 180, 219 P.2d 485. As one early case explained, it is impossible for the law to affix any obligation to a promise to agree "`[s]ince eith......
  • California Lettuce Growers v. Union Sugar Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 23, 1954
    ...P. 936; Stone Drill Corp. v. Stoody Company, 4 Cal.App.2d 367, 40 P.2d 945. As stated in Avalon Products, Page 110 Inc., v. Lentini, 98 Cal.App.2d 177, at page 180, 219 P.2d 485, at page 487: '* * * the general rule is that a provision in a contract which leaves open the terms of payment fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Anderson v. Whipple, No. 7555
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 30, 1951
    ...sustain a judgment for damages at law. Store Properties v. Neal, 72 Cal.App.2d 112, 164 P.2d 38; Avalon Productions v. Lentini, Cal.App., 219 P.2d 485. In this case the jurors were not instructed that the contract alleged in defendants' answer must be established by clear and convincing evi......
  • Coleman Engineering Co. v. North Am. Aviation, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 12, 1966
    ...176 Cal.App.2d 719, 730, 1 Cal.Rptr. 500; Putman v. Cameron, 129 Cal.App.2d 89, 95, 276 P.2d 102; Avalon Products, Inc. v. Lentini, 98 Cal.App.2d 177, 179, 219 P.2d 485; 1 Corbin, Contracts (1963 ed.) § 29, pp. Whether a term is 'essential' 'depends upon the relative importance and the seve......
  • Copeland v. Baskin Robbins U.S.A., No. B149851.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 19, 2002
    ...Dealing and Failed Negotiations" (1987) 87 Colum. L.Rev. 217, 251. (Hereafter Farnsworth.) 10. Avalon Products, Inc. v. Lentini (1950) 98 Cal.App.2d 177, 180, 219 P.2d 485. As one early case explained, it is impossible for the law to affix any obligation to a promise to agree "`[s]ince eith......
  • California Lettuce Growers v. Union Sugar Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 23, 1954
    ...P. 936; Stone Drill Corp. v. Stoody Company, 4 Cal.App.2d 367, 40 P.2d 945. As stated in Avalon Products, Page 110 Inc., v. Lentini, 98 Cal.App.2d 177, at page 180, 219 P.2d 485, at page 487: '* * * the general rule is that a provision in a contract which leaves open the terms of payment fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT