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Parcel carriers major business in shipping goods across the country overnight via aircraft, as you know if you

shop online. In addition to the new clothes that you purchase, though, these carriers ship critical parts and machinery that industrial companies often need sent to them quickly by suppliers thousands of miles away. Freeman Motors is such a company, and Ames Widgets is such a supplier. 

On September 10, 2001, Freeman's machine broke, and it urgently needed a part from Ames. So, Freeman and Ames contracted for Ames to have the needed part shipped overnight on FedPSU, a well-known air carrier, to arrive at Freeman's factory on the next afternoon. That next morning, however, the 9/11 tragedies struck, and the federal government grounded all flights nationwide. 

That meant that the air carrier could not take off, and, as a consequence, that Ames couldn't deliver as promised. Freeman—losing money by the minute—was furious (and fairly unreasonable and uncompassionate too, apparently). Eventually, Freeman sued Ames for failing to deliver as promised, and claimed great sums of damages. Who should prevail in that suit—will a court hold Ames to its promise to have the part delivered at the specified time? (Select 1)



A. Yes — the court probably will. While there was certainly a tragedy, a deal is a deal. Ames promised to deliver, and it did not. That is all contract law looks to see, so Ames is liable to Freeman.

B. No, not likely — This is a clear case of impracticability/frustration. Neither party anticipated that the airways would be completely closed on the day when the part needed to be sent. It would be unreasonable to hold Ames to its bargain given the circumstances.

C. Yes — the court probably will. If Ames were worried about this sort of problem, it should have accounted for it in the contract. It is not the court's job to bail it out of poor contract drafting.

D. No, not likely — Courts never uphold promises in a time of national security emergency, so a court would likely release Ames from its obligations to deliver on time.

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B. No, not likely This is a clear case of impracticability/frustration. Neither... View the full answer

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