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Green v. Lubeck Co. South, Inc.

A-2513-97T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 1998) (Unpublished)

CONTRACTS; DEFAULT; DAMAGES—The absence of a written contract calling for interest does not preclude an award of interest for late payment.

Pursuant to a purchase order, three intercom systems were installed in two schools. When the installer did not get paid in full, it sued the buyer. Part of the balance was paid before the complaint was served. The rest was paid about three weeks after suit was filed. The installer, however, persisted in claiming that it was owed interest on the late payments, even though the purchase order contract did not so provide. The lower court denied the claim. The Appellate Division, though upholding the ultimate result based on a de minimis analysis was, however, sympathetic to the installer’s position. In its words, “[i]nterest might properly have been granted in this case because defendant had the use of the amounts which were due and unpaid. The absence of a written contract calling for interest did not preclude the award of interest.”


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