Summary of Beard Implement Co v. Krusa
App. Ct. of Illinois, 1991
Facts: Beard was a farm implement company and Carl Krusa was a farmer. The parties had negotiated for the purchase of a 1985 Duetz-Allis combine. After DF present combine broke, he approached Beard where a purchase order for the combine in question was filled out. The price was $52,800 cash after trade in. Df signed the purchase order but neither of PL’s representatives signed. The purchase order required their signatures for acceptance. DF tendered an undated counter check for $5200. Df subsequently negotiated a better deal with Cox for the same model.
Issue: Whether a valid contract existed between Krusa and Beard without Beard’s signatures for acceptance?
Procedure: Bench trial concluded a contract existed. Reversed.
Rule: Where a verbal agreement takes the form of a written agreement, acceptance is effective only when the document is signed and delivered unless the intention of the parties that the earlier verbal agreement is binding and the written form is a memorialization of the verbal K.
Ct. Rationale: The offeror is the master of his offer. An offeror may prescribe as many conditions or terms of the method of acceptance as he may wish, including, time, place, and manner. The Pl drafted the purchase order and then gave it to DF to use for his offer to purchase the combine. The P. O. clearly required the signature of the PL “dealer," in order to be a proper acceptance of DF’s offer. PL never signed the P. O. therefore no contract existed.
PL A: 1-The Parties had a verbal agreement and the purchase order only memorialized the verbal terms. 2-PL offered the combine to Df and Df accepted by tendering a signed counter check and giving that check to PL as down payment.
Def A: Pl never accepted Df’s offer to purchase the combine as evidenced by their missing and required signatures on the purchase order.