Legal Memorandum: Privity of Contract in KS

Issue: Will a plaintiff’s claim for breach of oral contract fail for lack of privity with the defendants?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Claim for breach of oral contract; Privity
Jurisdiction: Kansas
Cited Cases: 107 P.3d 1219; 234 Kan. 742; 675 P.2d 887; 681 P.2d 1074
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2012

“Kansas law requires that every legal action be prosecuted by the real party in interest.  In causes of action arising from contract, only parties to the contract may enforce the contract because ‘the person who possesses the right sought to be enforced’ is the real party in interest.”  Wade v. Emcasco Ins. Co., 483 F.3d 657, 674-75 (10th Cir. 2007) (quoting O’Donnell v. Fletcher, 9 Kan. App. 2d 491, 681 P.2d 1074, 1076 (Kan. Ct. App. 1984A l "O’Donnell v. Fletcher, 9 Kan. App. 2d 491, 681 P.2d 1074 (Kan. Ct. App. 1984" s "O’Donnell v. Fletcher, 9 Kan. App. 2d 491, 681 P.2d 1074, 1076 (Kan. Ct. App. 1984" c 1 ) (internal citations omitted)); Health Care Props., L.L.C. v. Paul-Wertenberger Constr., Inc., No. 97,083 (Kan. Ct. App. Feb. 29, 2008) (unpublished) (attached) (“[N]one but a party to the contract has a right to recover damages for its breach against any of the parties.”). 

See Butler Nat’l Serv. Corp. v. Navegante Group, Inc., Nos. 09-2466-JWL, 09-2554-JWL, 10-2444-JWL, (D. Kan. Sept. 19, 2011) (finding that a shareholder’s allegation that he suffered damages separate from those of the corporation sufficiently conferred standing on the individual).  A court must examine the plaintiff’s evidence on a motion for summary judgment to determine whether the plaintiff has standing.  Id.   

“‘Privity of contract is that connection or relationship which exists between two or more contracting parties.  It is essential to the maintenance […]

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