The following summaries of precedent-setting reparation decisions issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) are intended to help companies understand their rights and responsibilities under PACA. The key facts and core reasoning used to decide cases are presented.
TOPIC: ACCORD AND SATISFACTION
Complaint: PACA Case #W-R-2011-535
B. Sayers, Inc.
Order: $5,772.00 award issued
Interfresh, Inc. (Interfresh) shipped a truckload of onions to B. Sayers, Inc. (Sayers) on June 21, 2011, and issued invoice #366881 for a price of $9,203.55. Payment terms were PACA prompt.
Sayers paid Interfresh $3,431.55 with a check dated August 2, 2011 for invoice #366881. A handwritten notation reading, “Full & Final Pymt Inv 366881” was included on the face of Sayers’ check. Interfresh deposited the check on August 8, 2011, but continued to seek full payment from Sayers.
Sayers’ defense was that this invoice was satisfied by accord and satisfaction. PACA, however, pointed out that U.C.C. § 3-311 provides, among other things, that in order for an accord and satisfaction to be effective, the transaction in question must involve a bona fide dispute. Here PACA found that no such dispute existed, and therefore held that the invoice in question was not satisfied by accord and satisfaction.
Interestingly, PACA also suggested that the lateness of Sayers’ payment suggested it was not made in good faith, providing an additional basis for finding in favor of Interfresh. Accordingly, PACA awarded Interfresh the balance of its invoice price, or $5,772.00, plus interest.
These summaries are not issued by the USDA, nor the PACA Branch, and should not be mistaken for an official government statement or release.