Contracts Keyed to Summers
Bausch & Lomb, Inc. v. Bressler
Sonomed Technology, Inc. (Defendant) manufactures and distributes ophthalmic devices. In 1984, Bausch & Lomb, Inc. (Plaintiff), a distributor of ophthalmic devices, entered an agreement with Defendant (1984 Agreement), by which Plaintiff would purchase and exclusively distribute Defendant’s ophthalmic devices worldwide for three years. Pursuant to the 1984 Agreement, Plaintiff paid $500,000 to Defendant in exchange for its exclusive distribution rights. In 1986, the parties rescinded the 1984 Agreement and entered a new agreement (the 1986 Agreement), which extended Plaintiff’s exclusive distribution rights for a total of five years while narrowing its territorial scope. Sometime before 1987, Defendant violated the 1986 Agreement by selling its ophthalmic products in Plaintiff’s territory. In 1987, Defendant informed Plaintiff that it would no longer fulfill any product orders. On November 30, 1987, Plaintiff sued Defendant for breach of contract and the district court found Defendant liable. A jury awarded Plaintiff $555,000 in damages, which included Plaintiff’s $500,000.00 payment for its exclusive distribution rights. Defendant appealed and challenged the $500,000.00 award to Plaintiff.
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