LEFKOWITZ v. GREAT MINNEAPOLIS SURPLUS STORE, INC

Supreme Court of Minnesota

251 Minn. 188 86 N.W.2d 689 (1957)

Facts

Case arises out of a dispute between a store and potential buyer of a piece of fur that was refused to the buyer by the defendant store. The store had an ad in the paper that published that it would sell a piece of fur for $1 to the person who was able to get there first.

Procedural History

Trial court awarded plaintiff $138.50 in damages for a breach of contract. Defendant appealed for a trial de novo or amended findings of fact.

Issue

When is an advertisement a legally enforceable offer of a contract? Was there a specific performance advertised for another specific performance?

Arguments for Both Parties

Plaintiff argues that he upheld all of the elements of the offer stated in the ad in the paper and that his acceptance of the ad is legally enforceable. Defendant argues that the ad is a unilateral offer that can withdrawn by the offeror at anytime. It is more of an invitation to an offer, which may be accepted or rejected and which therefore does not become a legally enforceable contract till the offeror accepts the offeree’s proposal to accept the invitation.

Holding

The court holds that the trial court did not err in its affirmation for the Plaintiff of damages of $138.50, court also holds that the terms of the agreement cannot be changed with house rules outside of the specific performances laid out in the legally enforceable offer.

Rule

If an advertisement has specific rewards for specific performances that are reasonable, clear, definite, explicit, and leave nothing open for interpretation, the advertisement constitutes an offer, acceptance of which by the consumer or the offeree will complete the contract.

 

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