Question

Adsit is an Indiana-based retailer of new, used, and rebuilt parts and accessories for Mercedes-Benz automobiles. Mary Gustin lives in Texas, and Julie Gustin, Mary's daughter-in-law, lives in Alabama. Julie's husband, Kevin, owned a classic 1967 Mercedes Benz roadster. Mary wanted to buy leather seat covers and armrest covers for the car. Prior to placing an online order on Adsit's website, a customer must click a button reading "I Accept," which is located at the bottom of a web page describing the company policy. The policy stated that there would be absolutely no refunds or returns, that there was a warranty for 30 days on an exchange basis, and that all sales were final. The policy also included a forum selection clause:
AGREEMENT ON JURISDICTION TO DAMAGES:
[Adsit and Customers agree that any suit, claim or legal proceedings of any nature between the parties must be filed and prosecuted in Delaware County, Indiana and shall be controlled by the laws of the State of Indiana then in effect. . . .
The page of Adsit's website regarding seat upholstery states that [all seat upholstery is manufactured using the original german leathers or mb tex vinyls to the original pattern for the correct look. Most original colors are available. If you have any questions about the color of your interior, please supply us with your vin# or send a sample of your old interior. All interior items are special order and nonreturnable so please order carefully.
In December 2004, Mary placed an order on Adsit's website for two camel-colored leather seat covers and two camel-colored leather armrest covers. Mary also entered a vehicle identification number (VIN) on the website but wrote down an incorrect number. Consequently, when Adsit employees looked at the VIN, they dismissed it because it was not a VIN for a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. With Julie's permission, Mary provided Adsit with Julie's credit card number and information. After verifying the order, Adsit placed an order for leather seat and armrest covers from its supplier, German Auto. Julie and Kevin received the goods in late January 2005. At that time, they discovered that the color of the seat covers did not match their vehicle's interior. Within six days of receiving the seat covers, Julie and Kevin returned them to the address from which they were sent. They sent the seat covers via certified U.S. mail and received confirmation of delivery. A representative of Adsit testified that the company did not receive the goods. In July 2005, Adsit filed a breach of contract complaint in an Indiana court against Mary and Julie. Mary and Julie denied the validity of the forum selection clause and claimed that the Indiana court lacked jurisdiction over them, since they lived in other states.
Was a contract including the forum selection clause formed online between the parties?



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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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