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Barbara Development Corp. v. Jordan

Supreme Court of Arizona

February 10, 1931

BARBARA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, a Corporation, and BARBARA-MARSHAY MINES, LTD., a Corporation, Appellants,
v.
T. H. JORDAN, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Navajo. J. E. Crosby, Judge. Judgment modified and affirmed.

Mr. J. E. Russell and Mr. R. B. Westervelt, for Appellants.

Messrs. Sawyer & Clark, for Appellee.

OPINION

Page 783

[37 Ariz. 499] LOCKWOOD, J.

T. H. Jordan, hereinafter called plaintiff, brought suit against Barbara Development Corporation, a corporation, and Barbara-Marshay Mines, Ltd., hereinafter called defendants, to recover certain sums alleged to have been due from defendants to plaintiff. The case was tried to the court, and judgment rendered in favor of plaintiff in the sum of $6,122.56, and from the judgment and the order overruling the motion for a new trial defendants have appealed.

There is but one assignment of error, which is that the evidence does not support the judgment. On an assignment of this nature we must construe every conflict in the evidence and every reasonable intendment to be drawn therefrom in favor of the judgment of the trial court. Korrick v. Robinson, 20 Ariz. 323, 180 P. 446; Kinney v. Neis, 14 Ariz. 318, 127 P. 719. With this rule to guide us we state the facts in the case as follows:

On the twenty-third day of August, 1927, plaintiff was president of the Zuni-Arizona Oil Company, which company had some 9,000 acres of land under lease. On this date he signed a contract with the Barbara Development Corporation, by the terms of which the corporation was to finance the drilling of certain wells on the property of the oil company, plaintiff being retained as field manager for the corporation. After the contract was entered into, one John Goetz, who was then representing the corporation, inquired of plaintiff as to the customary salary for the manager of an oil company, and was informed that it was from $350 to $400 per month. No further discussion [37 Ariz. 500] was ever had as to salary. Thereafter plaintiff entered upon his duties as such manager, and operations were carried on in a more or less desultory manner in pursuance of the agreement, from the twenty-fourth day of August, 1927, till the thirty-first day of March, 1928, after which time all work on the contract stopped.

During this period plaintiff had contracted a number of bills on behalf of the corporation. In the latter part of March he sent the corporation an itemized statement of the amount he claimed was then due from them on account of his salary and bills that he had contracted in the course of the work, amounting all told to $5,824.29, the statement covering all bills for supplies and labor up to March 31, 1928. Some correspondence was had between the general manager of the corporation, Albert de Beaulieu, and plaintiff in regard to the amount of indebtedness, and plaintiff finally wrote the former on April 28, 1928, as follows:

"During the recent visit to this city of Mr. Konselman and Mr. Russell, the Zuni-Arizona Corporation agreed to assume one-half of the Swassing, Morrison and my labor account, PROVIDING that immediate relief were forthcoming from the Barbara Development Corporation.

"If such relief is not to materialize, and is not an incentive toward the immediate payment of all outstanding bills, then the Zuni-Arizona Company feels no longer bound by this agreement, but that entire amount must

Page 784

be paid by the Barbara Development Corporation, who in reality are responsible for the incurring of every ...


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