Notes - Security Stove & Mfg. Co. v. American Ry. Express Co.


1. Suppose that Security Stove had agreed to deliver its stove parts to the Railway Express office in Kansas City (rather than having them picked up at its own factory). The expenses that the Stove Company incurs in making this delivery will not directly benefit the shipper,[54] unlike the fee to be paid for transporting the goods to Atlantic City. However, until Security Stove has delivered its stove parts to the Express Company's Kansas City office, it has no right to insist that the shipper live up to its end of their agreement. Should the expenses incurred by the Stove Company in making this delivery be treated differently from the expenses incurred in preparation for the exhibition of the stove parts in Atlantic City, on the theory that the latter were less clearly foreseeable since they did not have to be incurred in order to put the Express Company in a position where its own failure to go forward would constitute a breach of contract?

2. Judge Bland dismisses as irrelevant the fact that Security Stove had incurred some of the expenses for which it sought reimbursement before making its contract with the shipping company. Is this, in general, a distinction that should be ignored or is Judge Bland's conclusion only justified where, as here, the defendant is legally obligated to contract with the plaintiff on terms available to the public at large, and this fact is known to the plaintiff in advance?

[54] Will they perhaps indirectly benefit the shipping company? On what theory?