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FAMOUS FOODS, INC. v. GENERAL FOODS CORP.

August 26, 1975.

Famous Foods, Inc.
v.
General Foods Corp.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

The Court has afforded the parties a most extensive and complete hearing in this matter and has considered the briefs and arguments of counsel. *fn1" After a full and exhaustive review of the record together with the release executed in this proceeding the Court must conclude that the Motion for Summary Judgment be granted.

It was stipulated and agreed by the parties that if a Motion for Summary Judgment is granted it must be limited to the period of time between June 3, 1958 and September 7, 1972, for the reason that business relations continued for about eight months as to other products between the parties subsequent to the signing of the general release of September 7, 1972.

 Distribution of the products of the defendant was made by the plaintiff for a period in excess of fourteen years. The parties operated under a written agreement from June 3, 1958 until September 7, 1972 on which date the plaintiff sold its coffee distribution business to the defendant. At the time of said sale, a general release was executed by the parties in which each mutually released the other from any and all claims and demands of any nature whatsoever which either party ever had, now has, or may hereafter have. For all practical intents and purposes this general release is the same type which the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held as being valid in the Three Rivers Case, (3rd Cir., 1975). No useful purpose could be gained in making detailed reference to the marked similarities of the two releases and the discussions are most thoroughly and completely expressed by the United States Court of Appeals in that case. Suffice to say, I am satisfied that the releases are of an exact similar nature and under all the facts which are not disputed, the cause of action of the plaintiff in this proceeding, for the period of time prior to September 7, 1972, is barred by said release. The complete terms and provisions of said release provides in detail as follows:

 Agreement between Famous Foods Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, having a principal place of business at 5th and Pennsylvania Railroad, Sharpsburg, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (hereinafter called Famous) and General Foods Corporation, a Deleware corporation having its principal place of business at 250 North Street, White Plains, New York 10625 (hereinafter called General Foods)

 Witnesseth:

 Whereas, Famous has been a distributor of certain institutional products of General Foods in the Counties of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Butler, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and

 Whereas, General Foods has purchased from Famous certain of the assets used by Famous in such institutional distribution;

 Now Therefore, it is hereby mutually agreed by the parties hereto as follows:

 Any distributorship agreement express or implied between General Foods and Famous relating to or arising from Famous distributing certain institutional coffee products of General Foods, including but not limited to that agreement between the parties dated June 3, 1958, shall be null, void and of no effect from the closing for the purchase of assets referred to above, and the parties hereto mutually release each other from any and all claims, liabilities, or other obligations either party ever had, now has or may hereafter have against or to the other, except:

 (1) Indebtedness of Famous to General Foods for merchandise heretofore sold and delivered from General Foods to and not heretofore paid for;

 (2) Any and/or all loans and advances from General Foods to Famous not heretofore paid; and

 (3) That indebtedness provided for in the documents exchanged at the closing of the sale of the assets of Famous ...


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