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Contracts Keyed to Epstein
Garwood Packaging, Inc. v. Allen & Company, Inc.
Citation:378 F.3d 698 (2004)
GPI (plaintiffs) had flopped in marketing its food-packaging system and had run up debts of $3 million and was broke. It engaged Martin(vice president of Allen) to help find investors. Martin told GPI that Allen would consider investing $2 million of its own money in GPI if another investor could be found who make a comparable investment. Martin located a company named Hobart Corporation that was prepared to manufacture $2 million worth of GPI packaging machines. Negotiations with Hobart proved arduous, however. Eventually, Allen decided not to invest, the deal collapsed and GPI was forced to declare bankruptcy. When Allen withdrew from the deal, no contract had been signed. GPS’s principal claim is that Martin’s unequivocal promise to see the deal through the completion bound Allen by the doctrine of promissory estoppel, which makes a promise that induces reasonable reliance legally enforceable.
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