In this case before me as an arbitrator in Small Claims Court, the plaintiff (who I will here call “Hirari”) is suing the defendant (here called “IPA Products”) for what he called “goods sold” in the sum of $3,808.
The “goods” were about 800 women’s summer tops in various sizes, in pullover and cardigan styles.
The goods were not delivered however, and IPA Products strongly denied that they agreed to buy the goods in the first place.
This dispute is at the nub of the case.
IPA Products is a middleman or agent for its clients, who are mostly large retail stores.
Hirari is a contract manufacturer/producer of finished garments.
IPA agreed with Hirari about one year ago to manufacture and deliver about 8,000 garments at an agreed price of about $38,000, with all other terms, including delivery instructions and payment as well.
Hirari said that the garments were produced in China.
Hirari produced two invoices; the first covering the first order, and the second was for $3,808 for a second order. The invoices were both dated in April, about two weeks apart.
He said that the first order was completed without incident, except that he did not get all of the payments due in a timely fashion, resulting in a claim by him for late payment of $3,808.
IPA’s President, the primary witness for IPA Products, then testified that the late payment issue was settled some time ago.
Hirari did not deny this. Instead he then changed course to his second invoice. He then testified that IPA should pay his second invoice because they agreed to buy the garments.
Hirari then said that after the completion of the first order, he found that he had ordered more fabric than he needed.
He said that he then instructed his factory to produce additional garments using the excess fabric. They produced about 800 pieces.
He then decided to ask defendant IPA Products to buy the excess garments.
Hirari spoke at length with IPA’s general manager (who I shall here call “Janet”) several times about the matter.
(Hirari also sued Janet as a co-defendant, and she appeared as a witness for the defendant at the trial of the case before me).
Hirari testified that he asked Janet to help him find a customer for the excess goods, and that she said that she would do so.
Janet testified that she tried to find a buyer, but was unable to do so.
Hirari questioned Janet at length, and she steadfastly maintained that she tried to sell the garments to her other clients without success. Her testimony was firm and detailed on the subject.
Janet then said that she never purchased anything for her company without a purchase order.
To see my decision, click on the link below – Decision