James Baird Co. v. Gimbel Bros. Inc Case Brief

Summary of James Baird Co. v. Gimbel Bros. Inc
64 F.2d 344 (2d Cir. 1933)
US Court of Appeals – 2nd District

Issue: Is D liable for mistakenly giving a low bid that P relied upon to make a construction bid?


P: D didn’t honor bid + should be liable under promissory estoppel

D: Denied making a contract.

Procedure: P sued D for breach of a contract to deliver linoleum. Judge granted a directed verdict for D. P appealed.

Facts: D was a NY merchant. P was a WA contractor. P needed contractors for a job. D mistakenly told the sub-contractors a low bid because D underestimated the materials needed. As a result, all sub-contractor bids were low. D informed subs about the mistake on the same day it gave a quote but P didn’t learn about this until after P submitted the overall job bid. The customer accepted P’s bid, which was lower than it would of have been if D did not make an error.

Reference: RSTMT §35 – since the offer was withdrawn before it was accepted, the acceptance was too late.

Holding: Judgment Affirmed – D not liable under promissory estoppel

Rule/Reason: Hand – mere use by a general contractor of one particular subcontractor’s bid does not constitute acceptance of that bid.

D’s offer could become a promise to deliver only when P promised to take and pay for it. Nor can D’s offer be considered an option.

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