D & G Stout, Inc. v. Bacardi Imports, Inc.

923 F.2d 566 (7th Cir. 1991).


D & G Stout (P), operating as General Liquors, Inc. (P), was Bacardi's (D) wholesale liquor distributor in northern Indiana. During this time frame, there was an industry consolidation going on. As a result of that consolidation, two of P’s suppliers canceled their contracts in 1987. P began negotiations with National Wine & Spirits for a possible sale. With full knowledge of the sale negotiations, D promised that P would remain its distributor for northern Indiana. With the support of D behind it, P felt confident that it could continue operating and rejected National's offer. One week later, D backed out of its promise and withdrew its line from P. Hiram Walker, P's other major client, left too. P was forced to sell to National for $550,000 below the original offer. P sued Bacardi (D) for the $550,000 price difference based on promissory estoppel. The district court granted D's motion for summary judgment; D’s promise was one that D could not expect P to reasonably rely upon. P appealed.