Contracts Keyed to Fuller
Chateau des Charmes Wines, Ltd. v. Sabaté USA, Inc.
SabatéFrance (Defendant) manufactures special wine corks that it claims will not cause “cork taint” spoilage. It sells the corks through a wholly owned California subsidiary,SabatéUSA, Inc. (Defendant). Canadian winery Chateau des Charmes Wines, Ltd. (Plaintiff) agreed by phone to purchase a number of corks and also to specific payment and shipping terms.SabatéFrance’s invoices specified that any dispute arising under the contract is to be brought before a court in France. Shortly after delivery, Plaintiff noticed that its wine was tainted by cork flavors. Plaintiff sued in federal district court in California, alleging claims for, among others, breach of contract, strict liability, and false advertising.SabatéFrance andSabatéUSA filed a motion to dismiss based on the forum selection clauses printed in the invoices. Holding that the clauses were valid and enforceable, the district court dismissed the action. Plaintiff appealed.
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