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CONSUMERS SUBSCRIPTION CTR., INC. v. WEB LETTER CO

May 22, 1985

CONSUMERS SUBSCRIPTION CENTER, INC., Plaintiff, against WEB LETTER COMPANY, TRI-STATE ENVELOPE CORPORATION, ICS CORPORATION, and BALLANTINE LITHO-SALES, INC., Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEAHER

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

NEAHER, District Judge.

 Plaintiff commenced this diversity action to redress defendants' alleged breaches of contract. The case is before the Court upon each defendant's motion for summary judgment. Consequently, in this context the facts are related as they appear in plaintiff's opposing papers.

 Stripped of its hyperbole and numerous immaterial conclusions of law, the affidavit of Bernard Gelb, plaintiff's director of operations, recites plaintiff's version of the events which led to this litigation. Gelb is also president of plaintiff's parent company, Consumers Subscription Service, Inc., and functions as the printing buyer for these entities and the Sears Subscription Service, which plaintiff also operates. These businesses merchandise discount magazine subscriptions through the mails from an office located in Queens. A magazine sweepstakes promotion scheduled to be mailed in mid-1981 furnishes the backdrop for the instant dispute.

 In April 1981 Tom Cote Jr., an employee of Ballantine Litho-Sales, Inc. (Ballantine), obtained the artwork and graphics necessary for the job. As Gelb understood the arrangement, Tri-State Envelope Corp. (Tri-State) would print the outer envelope, which would contain a letter printed by Web Letter Co. (Web), a brochure printed by Slate Printing Co. (Slate) and a reply card printed by ICS Corp. (ICS). After the suit's inception, Slate was removed from the litigation by way of the bankruptcy court.

 On May 11, 1981 Cote sent a letter to Gelb which states:

 
"Attached are the five contracts regarding your next printing jobs.
 
"Please sign where indicated."

 Although unsigned, the letter appears on Ballantine's stationery and was accompanied by six pages of typewritten documents, also on Ballantine's stationery. Only three of these pages are signed by Cote, and all six appear to be signed almost illegibly by Gelb. The first page, addressed to Gelb and dated May 11, 1981, states:

 I am pleased to quote the following based on our understanding of your specifications as outlined below:

 Title: Spring Mailing

 Product: Brochure - 2 Sheets

 Est. # 81 - 253a

 Quantity: 2MM - 3MM

 Size: 7" x 10"

 Stock: 35# offset opaque

 Colors: 4C/4C - bleeds

 Art: Final film supplied

 Proofs: Transfer key and blueprints

 Bindery: Nested and folded to fit #9

 Packing: In cartons on skids Shipping: F.O.B. Plant Prices: 2MM 3MM $ 18.52/M $ 18.08/M

 Sincerely,

 Thomas C. ...


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