BRC Rubber & Plastics, Inc. v. Cont'l Carbon Co., No. 14-1555 (7th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Continental sells carbon black, a material used in rubber products. BRC makes rubber products for the automotive industry. The companies entered into a contract that stated: It is the intent of this agreement that Continental agrees to sell to BRC approximately 1.8 million pounds of carbon black annually. In 2010, Continental shipped 2.6 million pounds to BRC. In 2011, for various reasons, Continental was struggling to keep up with the total demand from all its customers. When Continental refused to confirm or ship some of BRC’s orders, BRC sued, alleging that Continental had breached and repudiated the contract. The district court entered judgment for BRC, finding that as a matter of law that the agreement was a “requirements contract,” meaning it obligated Continental to sell as much carbon black as BRC needed, and obligated BRC to buy all its carbon black exclusively from Continental. The Seventh Circuit vacated and remanded, finding that the agreement did not obligate BRC to buy any—much less all— of its carbon black from Continental.