Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store

Facts

–          Lefkowitz  was the first person at the store and wanted the black lapin stole for $1.00.

–          Store refused to sell him the stole because of a store policy that it could only sell to females.

–          Defendant claims that it was modified by a “house rule” that only females could buy the products.

–          Advertisement contained no such restrictions.

Procedural History

–          Lefkowitz sued the store and was awarded $138.50 for damages.

–          Store appealed and lost.

Issue

–          Did the advertisement constitute an offer, and if so, did the plaintiff’s actions show an acceptance?

Holding

–          Yes on both accounts.

Rule

–          For advertisements, “Whether the facts show that some performance was promised in positive term in return for something requested.”

Reasoning

–          The offer was clear, definite and explicit. It left nothing open for negotiation, it constitutes an offer.

–          Whether any advertisements consummates an offer depends on legal intention of the parties and surrounding circumstances.

–          No restrictions for only women in advertisement, “has the right at anytime before acceptance to modify his offer, he does not have the right, after acceptance, to impose new or arbitrary conditions not contained in the published offer.

Disposition

–          Affirmed.

Notes

–          Like Lucy v. Zehmer.

–          There was mutuality here…There was a clear offer and a clear acceptance…

–          Court cannot state what it doesn’t know…i.e. it doesn’t know if what the store said was legit or not…Only at face value…Can’t construe a contract once its been written and accepted…It is only what people know for sure, not what they can imply about…

–          Looking at the time the offer was made…can’t change your mind after something is written.

–          Needs to be a DEFINITE contract…i.e. case of PepsiCo is not definite.

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