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Eastern Air Lines, Inc. v. McDonnell Douglas Corp.

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Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Contracts Keyed to Kuney

Citation. 532 F.2d 957 (1976)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff contracted to buy planes from defendant. The agreement stated that defendant would excuse any delays caused by events outside of defendant’s control or fault. Due to some governmental jawboning manufacturers, defendant was not able to convey planes to plaintiff timely and so the defendant sued.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under an agreement that reasons conveyance delays caused by occasions passed the seller"s control or fault, including however not constrained to any governmental acts or priorities, the seller is pardoned from delays caused by informal government pressure to prioritize military over civilian production during wartime.

Facts.

In mid-1965, Eastern Air Lines, Inc. (Eastern) (plaintiff) contracted to buy planes from McDonnell Douglas Corp. (MDC) (defendant). The agreement pardoned MDC from conveyance delays caused by occasions outside of MDC"s fault or control, including but not limited to governmental acts or priorities. Throughout the following two years, the United States profoundly expanded its military inclusion in Vietnam. The Defense Production Act enabled the government to require that manufacturers prioritize military production over civilian obligations. Formal orders under the demonstration were occasionally given. Rather, the government typically “jawboned” manufacturers through informal requests issued under threat of a formal directive.  In this way, the administration encouraged MDC to organize military production, which it did. Therefore, MDC did not convenient convey planes to Eastern, which sued. A jury restored a decision for Eastern, and MDC appealed.

Issue.

Under an agreement that reasons conveyance delays caused by occasions past the seller"s control or fault including however not constrained to any governmental acts or priorities, is the seller pardoned from delays caused by informal government pressure to prioritize military over civilian production during wartime?

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