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Luna Innovations Inc. v. Verner Sci., Inc. - Civil Action No. 7:16-CV-304, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63002 (W.D. Va. Apr. 25, 2017)

Rule:

In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court views the facts and draws all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Indeed, it is an axiom that in ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor. Moreover, credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge. However, the non-moving party must set forth specific facts that go beyond the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence, and show that there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party. In other words, to grant summary judgment the court must determine that no reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party on the evidence before it.

Facts:

Plaintiff Luna Innovations Incorporated instituted a breach of contract action, centering on defendant Verner Science, Inc.'s rejection of shipment of certain electronic equipment. Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that plaintiff has failed as a matter of law to state a claim since defendant made timely objection to plaintiff's shipment.

Issue:

Does defendant’s rejection/refusal to accept plaintiff’s shipment of electronic equipment constitute actionable breach of contract?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court denied the motion after holding that a binding contract was formed because the Purchase Order constituted an offer and plaintiff's Sales Order, in turn, confirmed the price and equipment specifications in the Purchase Order, and operated as an acceptance. The court further held that the different shipping terms in the offer and acceptance did not prevent the formation of a contract.

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