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Robinson v. Merchants Packing Co., Inc.

Supreme Court of Arizona

June 9, 1947

ROBINSON et ux.
v.
MERCHANTS PACKING CO., Inc

Appeal from Superior Court, Yuma County; Henry C. Kelly, Judge.

Affirmed.

Stanley A. Jerman and E. R. Thurman, both of Phoenix, for appellants.

Campbell & Rolle, of Yuma, for appellee.

Stanford, Chief Justice. LaPrade and Udall, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Stanford, Chief Justice.

Page 98

[66 Ariz. 23] The appellants in this action were the plaintiffs in the trial court and, for convenience, [66 Ariz. 24] we will style them hereafter as plaintiffs, and style the appellee as defendant.

Plaintiffs brought action in the superior court against defendant on two causes of action, one being for damages for breach of lease, and the second being for rentals past due prior to the breach of the lease. The case was tried before the court without a jury.

Plaintiffs were the owners of a certain slaughterhouse and equipment. A lease was prepared by the defendant for the signatures of both of the plaintiffs, as well as the defendant, and the lease was executed on June 19, 1945, by plaintiff Verne C. Robinson in the office of defendant, and then sent by plaintiff Robinson to Somerton, Arizona, where both of the plaintiffs and Mr. Campbell, the president of the company, resided. It was understood that the lease was to be signed by his wife and then delivered to Mr. Campbell for signature, and then returned to the secretary of the company, but instead the lease remained in the possession of plaintiff Verne C. Robinson until the latter part of July of that year, at which time he returned the same to the auditor of the company, but without the signature of plaintiff Dorothy Robinson. The lease was to terminate May 31, 1946, with right of renewal for one year. The defendants, however, took possession May 1, 1945, before the execution of the lease and commenced the operation of their packing house.

Plaintiff Verne C. Robinson was employed as a cattle buyer for the defendant company, and plaintiff Dorothy Robinson often accompanied him on the trips buying cattle. She also helped with office work in the packing company plant.

As a part of this whole transaction the plaintiff Verne C. Robinson represented to the defendant that he could and would secure for it grade A beef, and could operate the business of a slaughter house and meat plant to supply beef to the stockholders of the defendant who were then and there engaged in the retail meat business; that the defendant relied on the promise of the plaintiff Robinson and employed him to act as its manager and cattle buyer, but defendant alleged that plaintiff Robinson was unable to secure any substantial amount of grade A beef and instead secured a lower grade of meat known as "utility beef"; that he failed to devote his time to the business in question or exercise diligence, and as a result thereof the defendant was unable to continue operation of the business except at a loss of over $ 20,000 in a period of less than six months.

In August the defendant ceased operation of the packing plant, and on September 5, 1945, returned the plant to plaintiff Verne C. Robinson and disposed of his services.

Thereupon the action was brought in the superior court and judgment rendered in favor of plaintiffs on the second cause [66 Ariz. 25] of action in the sum of $ 1400, and certain interest and costs; the plaintiffs were denied any recovery under their first ...


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