Ammons v. Wilson

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Ammons v. Wilson
Court Mississippi Supreme Court
Citation 170 So. 227; 176 Miss. 645 (Miss. 1936)
Date decided December 7, 1936

Facts

Mr. Ammons, a wholesale grocer, ordered 942 cases of shortening at $0.075/pound from Mr. Tweedy, a Wilson & Company ("Wilson") salesman.

Wilson's customers, including Ammons, understood that their orders weren't binding until Wilson had received & accepted them.

Usually, Wilson would fulfill Ammons's order in 7 days. On 1 occasion, Wilson rejected the order of Ammons without informing Ammons until 12 days later. Wilson explained that the price of shortening had risen to $0.09/pound.

Procedural History

Ammons sued Wilson for breach of contract.

Ammons lost. The trial court in Mississippi granted Wilson a directed verdict.

Issues

Can a party's silence ever make a contract?

Can an offeree's (Wilson) silence & in-action be considered an acceptance of an offer?

Holding

Yes. Under appropriate circumstances, an offeree's silence & in-action can be considered an acceptance of an offer.

Judgment

Judgment reversed; remanded for jury trial.

Reasons

An offeree's failure to reply to an offer acts as acceptance if previous dealings give the offeror reason to believe the offeree's silence manifests intent.

Rule

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