Quake Construction v American Airlines, Inc is featured in some prominent American casebooks on contract formation or precontractual liability, where scholars and authorities debate when liability should properly attach. The case is widely cited by courts and secondary authorities, both on precontractual liability based on a letter of intent and the more unwieldy doctrine of promissory estoppel.
Quake is a 1990 Illinois Supreme Court decision which, on its face, appears to present the garden variety contracts issue of what to do when parties have reached a written preliminary agreement anticipating a formal writing that never occurs. Besides the fascinating doctrinal issues presented, the backstory reveals sensitive racial issues in Chicago’s political context at the time … (more)
Judith L Maute, ‘Race Politics, O’Hare Airport Expansion, and Promissory Estoppel: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same’, Hastings Law Journal 69:119 (December 2017).