Leonard v Pepsico case brief | Trial and Appellate opinion

here you will see the Leonard v Pepsico case brief.

Leonard v Pepsico case is popularly called Pepsi Points Case because it was raised from the breach of contract and fraud claim in which Leonard intended to enforce an offer to redeem 7,000,000 Pepsi Points worthy a Harrier Jet which Pepsico promised in its Television commercial.

Here I will share with you the Leonard v Pepsico case brief to help you understand everything you need to know about the Leonard v Pepsico case in a simple and accurate way.

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Leonard v Pepsico case brief

Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc. – 88 F. Supp. 2d 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)

Decided  on August 5, 1999

by

Judge Kimba Wood, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Parties

John D.R. Leonard Plaintiff, and Pepsico Inc, Defendant.

Procedural History

Plaintiff sued the defendant for breach of contract and fraud in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The defendant filed the motion for summary judgment to dispute the claim.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the motion.

Plaintiff appealed to the  United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which affirmed the decision of the district court.

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Facts

Pepsi was promoting a “Pepsi Points” promotion, where you could earn Pepsi Points and use them to purchase products from a catalog. Points could be earned by drinking Pepsi or purchasing them outright.

Pepsi ran an ad depicting a variety of items that could be purchased with Points, including a t-shirt for 75 points and a Harrier jump plane for 7,000,000 points.

The jet was advertised rather than cataloged.

Leonard watched the advertisement and decided he wanted a Harrier plane, so he raised $700,000, the required amount for 7,000,000 points, and sent it to Pepsi as a Harrier order.

Pepsi refused to fulfill Leonards’ request.

Leonard filed a lawsuit for breach of contract, claiming that the ad was an offer to sell the jet and pray for specific performance.

Pepsico filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the ad was not an offer to sell the jet.

Pepsico’s motion for summary judgment was granted by the district court.

Leonardo appealed to the  United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which affirmed the decision of the district court.

Issue

was the Pepsico advertisement an offer for the jet?

Rule

An advertisement cannot be regarded as an offer if it would not be taken seriously by a reasonable person.

The court derived that rule from the advertisement rules under The Restatement (Second) of Contracts which connote that advertisements of goods by the display, sign, handbill, newspaper, radio, or television are not ordinarily intended or understood as offers to sell.

Reasoning

In reaching the Judgement court reasoned that since the Harrier jet advertisement lacked explicit conditions, featured no performance directions, and a reasonable person would not have construed it as an offer, it was not an offer for the jet but only an advertisement.

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Holding

No, the Pepsico advertisement does not amount to an offer for the jet.

Judgment

The court granted summary judgment to the defendant.

Leonard, appellant, v. Pepsico, Inc. appellee, 210 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 2000) (the appeal)

(Appeal from a grant of summary judgment for Defendant in the Southern District of New York (Wood, J.) in an action seeking specific performance of an alleged offer of a Harrier Jet featured in a television advertisement.) 

Leonardo appealed against the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit maintaining that the Pepsico advertisement amounted to an offer for the jet.

the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision of the trial court on the grounds stated in Judge Wood’s (trial Judge) opinion that

(1) that the commercial did not constitute an offer of goods;

(2) that no reasonable person could conclude that the commercial offered customers the jet; and

(3) that the claimed contract did not meet the New York statute of frauds.

Read the full trial opinion here and the Appeal opinion here

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Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Mzumbe University and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law school of Tanzania. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion.

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