179 S.E.2d 88 (Ga. 1970), 26126, Franco v. Stein Steel & Supply Co.

Docket Nº:26126.
Citation:179 S.E.2d 88, 227 Ga. 92
Opinion Judge:ALMAND, Chief Justice.
Party Name:A. M. FRANCO v. STEIN STEEL & SUPPLY COMPANY.
Attorney:Saul Blau, Charlie Franco, Atlanta, for appellant. William R. King, Atlanta, for appellee.
Case Date:November 12, 1970
Court:Supreme Court of Georgia
 
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Page 88

179 S.E.2d 88 (Ga. 1970)

227 Ga. 92

A. M. FRANCO

v.

STEIN STEEL & SUPPLY COMPANY.

No. 26126.

Supreme Court of Georgia.

November 12, 1970

Rehearing Denied Dec. 17, 1970.

Page 89

Syllabus by the Court

1. The allegations in the petition were sufficient to charge the defendant as an officer and agent of the Stein Corporation with operating within the scope of his agency for his own benefit and to the injury and damage of his principal. It was not error to overrule the motion to dismiss the complaint.

2. The temporary restraining order of July 2, 1970, was issued on the allegations verified by the President of Stein and his supporting affidavit which were sufficient to justify the issuance of a temporary injunction and the appointment of a special auditor.

3. Though in some particulars the evidence is in conflict, we cannot say that the trial judge abused his discretion in granting an interlocutory injunction or continuing the appointment of a[227 Ga. 93] 'special auditor' (temporary receiver).

Saul Blau, Charlie Franco, Atlanta, for appellant.

William R. King, Atlanta, for appellee.

Page 90

ALMAND, Chief Justice.

This appeal is from orders (a) refusing an oral motion to dismiss an equitable petition, (b) granting an interlocutory injunction, and (c) appointing an auditor.

The appellee, Stein Steel & Supply Co., a corporation engaged in the design, fabrication and sale of structural steel, brought its equitable petition against A. M. Franco. It was alleged that Franco, a registered professional engineer in the State of Georgia and other States had been employed by Stein since 1961 as an engineer. It was alleged that: 'Plaintiff has recently learned that defendant, for some time-the length of which plaintiff does not know-has been personally billing and receiving payment from plaintiff's customers and potential customers for the services for which defendant is employed by plaintiff to perform for such customers.

'On information and belief, Plaintiff alleges that defendant has not included an appropriate apportionment of his salary and expenses in connection with his duties on behalf of plaintiff in the total prices of the contracts he has entered into, binding plaintiff to furnish structural steel items, and as a result plaintiff has been unable to recover the value of the services performed by defendant from the customers with whom defendant has been dealing on behalf of plaintiff.

'While receiving compensation from plaintiff, using the materials supplied by plaintiff, during trips at plaintiff's expense by virtue of his relationship as an agent and officer of plaintiff, defendant has been dealing within the scope of agency for his own benefit to the detriment of plaintiff.

'As a result of the manner in which defendant performed his duties for plaintiff and of defendant's position of trust and confidence, defendant has possession of plans, drawings, design calculations, work papers, negotiated proposals, estimates, worn sheets, [227 Ga. 94] lists of plaintiff's customers, correspondence and other business records and documents, all in varying stages of development and completion, many of which are plaintiff's trade secrets and are the only copies or records of such matters. All of these items are products of defendant's efforts an an officer and employee of plaintiff and are therefore plaintiff's property.

'Plaintiff fears that defendant will secrete, destroy, dispose of or divert to his own use plaintiff's business records and documents in the possession of defendant or others known to him unless restrained from doing so by this court. Unless such business records and documents are delivered to plaintiff or placed in the possession of the court, plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm and injury.'

The prayers of the petition were (a) to restrain and enjoin Franco from diverting to his own use or divulging to anyone other than a representative of the...

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