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09/30/88 Harry Cohen, D/B/A Bell v. Wood Brothers Steel

September 30, 1988

HARRY COHEN, D/B/A BELL IRON & METAL COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

WOOD BROTHERS STEEL STAMPING COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

THIS APPEAL FOLLOWS RULING BELOW ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1985, CH. 110, PAR. 2-1005) IN AN ACTION FOR THE ALLEGED BREACH OF A PURPORTED OUTPUT CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF SCRAP METAL.



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

529 N.E.2d 1068, 175 Ill. App. 3d 511, 124 Ill. Dec. 951 1988.IL.1490

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Irwin Solganick, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN and MURRAY, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

We reverse.

The following facts are undisputed.

Bell Iron & Metal Company (Bell Iron) is a scrap metal salvaging company. Bell Iron was formed by Harry Cohen in 1940. Wood Brothers Steel Stamping Company (Wood Brothers) produces scrap metal as a by-product in its manufacturing process. In 1940, Wood Brothers was owned by Harry Cohen's brother, Ralph Cohen. At some time beginning in 1942, and continuing to 1974, Harry Cohen, doing business as Bell Iron, picked up scrap metal produced by Wood Brothers.

In 1974, Arthur Lasser, a long-time employee of Wood Brothers and the son-in-law of Ralph Cohen, became the president of Wood Brothers after acquiring 46% of the common stock of the company through gifts from Ralph Cohen. The remainder of Ralph Cohen's stock was repurchased by the company. At that time, Lasser, as president of Wood Brothers, signed the following letter, dated April 19, 1974, written on company stationery, and addressed to plaintiff Harry Cohen:

"Dear Mr. Cohen:

This will confirm our understanding that you will continue to purchase from us all the scrap that generates from the operation of our plant at fair market price, as long as you live on the same basis as we have dealt between us in the past.

We are very pleased with your service and hope you can continue to deal with us for many years to come.

Sincerely yours,

WOOD BROS. STEEL ...


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