Brief Fact Summary. Eastern Air Lines, Inc. (Eastern) and Gulf Oil Corporation (Gulf) have contracted for over 30 years for Gulf to supply Eastern with fuel. Among other issues presented during litigation, Gulf has claimed that Eastern’s practice of “fuel freighting” violates their contract. “Fuel freighting” consists of taking on more or less fuel at certain Gulf stations, regardless of actual operating requirements, depending on the relative prices at the Gulf stations.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. “Good faith” between merchants under the U.C.C. means “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade.”
Issue. Does Eastern’s practice of “fuel freighting” constitute a breach of its agreement with Gulf?
Held. No. “Good faith” between merchants under the U.C.C. means “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade.” The parties here have been dealing with each other for 30 years. Gulf has never complained of fuel freighting and apparently accepted it as normal procedure. In fact, the court concluded that fuel freighting is an established industry practice, inherent in the nature of the business. Therefore, Eastern has not violated the contract between the parties.
If a contingency is foreseeable, it and its consequences are taken outside the scope of U.C.C. 2-615, because the party disadvantaged by fruition of the contingency might have protected himself in his contract.View Full Point of Law