Question

The U. S. Congress directed the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and sell a stated number of specially minted commemorative coins to raise funds to restore and renovate the Statue of Liberty. The U.S. Mint mailed advertising materials to persons, including Mary and Anthony C. Mesaros, husband and wife that described the various types of coins that were to be issued. Payment could be made by check, money order, or credit card. The materials included an order form. Directly above the space provided on this form for the customer’s signature was the following: “YES, Please accept my order for the U. S. Liberty Coins I have indicated.”
Mary Mesaros forwarded to the mint a credit card order of $ 1,675 for certain coins, including the $ 5 gold coin. All credit card orders were forwarded by the Mint to Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for verification, which took a period of time. Meanwhile, cash orders were filled immediately, and orders by check were filled as the checks cleared. The issuance of 500,000 gold coins was exhausted before Mesaros’s credit card order could be filled. The Mint sent a letter to the Mesaroses, notifying them of this fact. The gold coin increased in value by 200 percent within the first few months of issue. Mary and Anthony C. Mesaros filed a class action lawsuit against the United States, seeking in the alternative either damages for breach of contract or a decree ordering the Mint to deliver the gold coins to the plaintiffs. Is there a contract between the Mesaros and the United States? Mesaros v. United States, 845 F. 2d 1576, 1988 U. S. App. Lexis 6055 (United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)


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  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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