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Wells Fargo & Company of Mexico, S.A. v. McArthur Brothers Mercantile Company

Supreme Court of Arizona

November 10, 1933

WELLS FARGO & COMPANY OF MEXICO, S.A., a Corporation, Appellant,
v.
McARTHUR BROTHERS MERCANTILE COMPANY, a Corporation, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. M. T. Phelps, Judge. Reversed and remanded.

Messrs. Ellinwood & Ross, Mr. Wm. H. Mackay and Mr. Norman S. Hull, for Appellant.

Mr. Henderson Stockton and Mr. Emmet M. Barry, for Appellee.

OPINION

Page 1022

[42 Ariz. 407] McALISTER, J.

McArthur Brothers Mercantile Company, an Arizona corporation, with its principal place of business at Phoenix, brought this action against Wells Fargo & Company of Mexico, S.A., a foreign corporation, to recover $3,700, the alleged value of an armoured motor-truck which, it was averred, the latter held as bailee and failed to deliver to the plaintiff, the bailor, when requested to do so. Judgment for $1,000 in favor of the plaintiff was rendered upon the verdict of a jury and the defendant has brought the controversy here for review.

The facts out of which the case arises are substantially these: Appellee was for a number of years the distributor of Dodge Brothers automobiles and Graham Brothers trucks for the state of Arizona and in the fall of 1926 secured from the federal government of Mexico an order for a sample armoured truck. The chassis and body of the truck were purchased by appellee from two different dealers in York, Pennyslvania, and shipped to Graham Brothers at Detroit, Michigan, where they were properly put together for shipment to Arizona but Graham Brothers refused to send or forward the truck to appellee while the embargo on arms and munitions of war from the United States to Mexico then existing was in force. Hence, it became necessary that appellee procure someone whom Graham Brothers regarded as reliable to receive the car in Nogales, Arizona, and hold it there subject to the instruction of Dodge Brothers, so, on January 18, 1927, appellee realizing appellant would fulfill this requirement, [42 Ariz. 408] wired its local agent at Nogales, Arizona, Wm. H. Davey, as follows:

Phoenix, Ariz. 506 P

"Jan. 18, 1927.

Wm. H. Davey, West Coast Motor Co., Nogales, Ariz.

"Please have Wells Fargo wire direct to Graham Brothers, Detroit, and follow with confirmatory letter their willingness to receive and hold for Dodge Brothers instructions the Graham Brothers Sample Armoured car Please have them do this day letter today and advise us they have done so.

"McARTHUR BROTHERS."

Page 1023

Upon receipt of this telegram Davey called on J. J. Egan, general manager for appellant, at his office in Nogales, Sonora, Republic of Mexico, showed him the message and advised him that it would be necessary to store the truck for awhile in Nogales, Arizona. Thereupon Mr. Egan told Davey he would get someone to take care of the truck when it came and the next day, January 19, 1927, sent Graham Brothers at Detroit, Michigan, the requested telegram, which was in this language:

"Nogales, Ariz., January 19, 1927.

"Graham Brothers, Detroit, Mich.

"At request McArthur Bros. Phoenix advising you direct we will receive and hold for instructions Dodge Brothers Sample Armoured ...


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