On September 1, 1939, plaintiff company, engaged in the business of refining, purchasing, transporting and selling gasoline and other petroleum products, entered into two written contracts with defendant retailer. One contract provided for purchase by defendant from plaintiff of real property by monthly installments totaling $32,000, and the other stipulated for purchase from plaintiff of all the gasoline and petroleum products handled by defendant for a period of five years from date. Defendant defaulted in the payment of monthly installments on the real estate contract, and plaintiff brought suit to recover the unpaid balance of $15,200 and sought foreclosure of the contract. Defendant admitted the material allegations of the complaint and counterclaimed for the sum of $10,188.86; alleging that plaintiff had overcharged defendant by that amount under the supply contract and that defendant had paid the overcharge under protest rather than risk jeopardizing his position under the supply contract or incur the penalty stipulated for purchasing elsewhere. The trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff on the complaint and for the defendant on the counterclaim, finding as a matter of law that defendant was overcharged under the contract in the amount claimed and that defendant waived no known right in paying the overcharges when demanded. On appeal by plaintiff from the judgment on the counterclaim, held, reversed. (1) Defendant could not recover money paid voluntarily and without compulsion and with full knowledge of the facts and without fraud, duress or extortion. (2) Where there was no evidence of a threat to cancel the supply contract, defendant had an adequate remedy for construction of the contract under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act. Pure Oil Co. v. Tucker, (C.C.A. 8th, 1947) 164 F. (2d) 945.
E.C. V. Greenwood,
QUASI-CONTRACTS--DURESS--RECOVERY OF PAYMENTS MADE UNDER ECONOMIC PRESSURE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol46/iss7/21