Freeborn Secures Jury Win for Steel Processor Client Over Breach of Contract

CHICAGO – Freeborn & Peters LLP is pleased to announce that it has secured a favorable jury verdict for its steel processor client, National Material Company, LLC, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., in a breach of contract case in Christian County, Ill.

Following a nearly three-week trial, the Christian County Circuit Court jury on Sept. 19 decided in favor of National Material against Assumption, Ill.-based The GSI Group, LLC, a manufacturer of grain bins. The case concerned a contract for the sale of more than 120,000 tons of steel.

GSI contended that there was no contract with National Material because the parties did not sign a single written instrument. The jury found that various writings and the parties’ long course of dealings, as well as the course of performance, constituted a contract under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

“Our client is extremely pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Freeborn Partner Matthew J. O’Hara, lead counsel for National Material. “The verdict shows that the jury would not allow GSI to get away with its opportunistic excuse that suddenly there was no contract when the market for the price of steel fluctuated drastically during 2008, after the contract had been performed by both sides. The jury saw that GSI was happy with the contract when the contract pricing worked in its favor, but all of a sudden repudiated the contract when the market price for steel turned in the other direction.”

National Material also was represented by Freeborn Partner Jeffrey A. Rossman and Freeborn attorney Kirk Watkins.

The case is No. 2010-CH-64.

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