Allen v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co – Case Brief Summary (Michigan)

In Allen v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co., 18 MichApp 632, 171 N.W.2d 689 (1969), plaintiff, an insurance agent, signed a contract with defendant, Michigan Bell Telephone Company, to place advertisements in defendant's telephone directory.

At the time, defendant was the sole provider of telephone directories in the area. When defendant failed to print the advertisements and plaintiff subsequently sued, defendant argued that a limitation of liability clause in the contract protected it from having to pay damages. Defendant moved for and was granted summary disposition.

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that the limitation of liability clause was unconscionable because of plaintiff's lack of options and bargaining power as compared to the defendant. Id. at 692.