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Millerton Agway Cooperative, Inc. v. Briarcliff Farms, Inc – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Millerton Agway Cooperative, Inc. v. Briarcliff Farms, Inc., 17 NY2d 57, 59, 215 N.E.2d 341, 268 N.Y.S.2d 18 (1966), the defendants claimed that they agreed to increase their guaranty to plaintiff from $400,000 to $1,000,000 in reliance on plaintiff's oral representations that plaintiff would supply defendants with additional goods on credit up to $1,000,000 and only then enforce payment of the Guaranty (Id. at 59).

The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment should not have been granted, explaining that while it might be considered implausible that defendants would sign unconditional million-dollar guarantees containing no mention of plaintiff's promise ... it is not impossible. On the other side ... it might be thought unlikely that appellants would increase their guarantees from $400,000 to a million dollars without some assurance that they would be allowed to stay in business ... However appropriate the summary judgment method may be for disposing without trial cases where there is no issue at all, this is not that kind of case. The truth as to these matters must be arrived at ... by a trial where the witnesses can be examined and cross-examined and their demeanor and their versions put under the scrutiny of the triers of the facts (Id. at 63-64).