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Frigaliment Importing Co. v. B.N.S. International Sales Corp

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Contracts Keyed to Knapp

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.190 F. Supp. 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1960)

Brief Fact Summary. Defendant B.N.S. International Sales Corp. contracted to sell chicken to Plaintiff, Frigaliment Importing Co. Defendant sent chicken complying with the weight requirements of the contract. Plaintiff argues that the chicken sent did not comply with the terms of the contract because the term “chicken” means young chicken.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. To interpret a disputed term in a contract, the court will consider (in order of importance): (1) the language of the contract, (2) the preliminary negotiations, (3) trade usage, (4) legal standard, (5) course of performance, and (6) maxims.


Facts. Defendant contracted to sell chicken to Plaintiff. Both contract indicated that Defendant was selling specified amounts of 2 1/2 – 3 lb. chickens and 1 1/2 – 2 lb. chickens. When the fist shipment was sent, Plaintiff found that the heavier chickens were not young chickens suitable for broiling or frying, but older stewing chicken. The parties disagree as to what the term “chicken” in the contract means.
Issue. Does the term “chicken” in the contract mean only younger chicken?

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