24 F.2d 603 (E.D.Mich.), 8227, Rhinelander Refrigerator Co. v. Rothenberg

Docket Nº:8227.
Citation:24 F.2d 603
Party Name:RHINELANDER REFRIGERATOR CO. v. ROTHENBERG et al.
Court:United States District Courts, 6th Circuit, Eastern District of Michigan

Page 603

24 F.2d 603 (E.D.Mich.)

RHINELANDER REFRIGERATOR CO.

v.

ROTHENBERG et al.

No. 8227.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division.

Date Not Given

Finkelston, Lovejoy & Chilson, of Detroit, Mich., for plaintiff.

Geo. E. Brand, of Detroit, Mich., for defendants.

DAWKINS, District Judge.

Plaintiff brought this suit upon account as for goods and merchandise sold and delivered to defendants. In their answer, in addition to certain special defenses, defendants claim that plaintiff is indebted to them by way of set-off and recoupment in a large sum, greatly exceeding that of plaintiff's demand.

The basis of the claim for damages is that plaintiff had entered into a contract with defendants, by which the latter were given the exclusive right to sell refrigerators, of a certain class manufactured by the plaintiff, in the city of Detroit, and used in apartment houses. The claim that the plaintiff, after making this agreement, itself invaded this territory and sold the same class of refrigerators to such an extent as to practically destroy the business of defendants. They pray for judgment for sums aggregating several thousand dollars as the profits which would have been made and for the expenses incurred.

Plaintiff has moved for a bill of particulars, and asked that defendants be compelled to give the dates, amounts, and persons with whom the sales could have been made in detail.

In reply, defendants say that it is impossible in the nature of things for them to be more specific; that the claim is one for general damages, and under the practice of the state of Michigan they do not have to furnish particulars in support of such claims, but are permitted to recover such amounts as they are able to prove. Plaintiff contends that the action is one for special damages and must be specific. My conclusion is that, in so far as the claim for expenses incurred in preparing to do business, the defendants will have to furnish a bill of particulars, for they certainly should know what amounts have been expended on that account.

As to the item of damage, I am of the view that they are general in their nature, and it would be impossible for the defendants to show specifically in a business of this kind what particular customers could have been had, but for the entering of the field by plaintiff, as alleged. However, this would not...

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