Alleged Oral Agreement Not Enough to Overcome Documents, Performance Dictating Different Agreement

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Contract Law Attorney

Disputes arise frequently in the world of business and commerce. Parties disagree over prices, quality, quantities, and numerous other issues. The Uniform Commercial Code (code) governs the sale of certain goods between parties, and the NJ Courts will look to Code when resolving applicable transactional disputes between parties. Such a situation arose in a recent case.

The dispute involved one company seeking to recover payment for 48 deliveries of gasoline to another business. The business that received the gasoline refused to pay because of a dispute over the price. The buyer claimed that the parties reached an oral agreement that the fuel would be supplied at a market rate, rather than the original price agreed to by the parties. The seller stated that no such oral agreement occurred and demanded to be paid at the price originally agreed to. After finding the Uniform Commercial Code applicable, the Court found no evidence of an oral agreement and therefore ruled for the seller of the gasoline. The Court found that invoices detailing the quantity and price of the gasoline provided in each delivery, accompanied by the buyer’s acceptance of the deliveries without objection, favored the seller. No performance by either of the parties indicated any sort of oral agreement. The buyer was ordered to pay for the gasoline at the price originally agreed to.

Contact me personally to discuss your NJ Contract matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or email me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.