341 F.2d 335 (7th Cir. 1965), 14621, Exercycle of Mich., Inc. v. Wayson

Docket Nº:14621.
Citation:341 F.2d 335
Party Name:EXERCYCLE OF MICHIGAN, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. George B. WAYSON and Hale & Hearty, Inc., Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:February 12, 1965
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 335

341 F.2d 335 (7th Cir. 1965)

EXERCYCLE OF MICHIGAN, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

George B. WAYSON and Hale & Hearty, Inc., Defendants-Appellants.

No. 14621.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

February 12, 1965

Page 336

Bernard H. Puckowitz, Chicago, Ill., for appellants.

Martin L. Bogot, Chicago, Ill., Hugo Sonnenschein, Jr., Chicago, Ill., Martin, Craig, Chester & Sonnenschein, Chicago, Ill., of counsel, for appellee.

Before SCHNACKENBERG and KILEY, Circuit Judges, and GRANT, District judge.

KILEY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff, suing as third party beneficiary, had judgment for $22,324.50 in this diversity suit for an accounting, 1 based on claims of breach of defendants' contract and of malicious interference with plaintiff's business and contract rights. Defendants appeal, and we affirm the judgment.

Exercycle Corporation of New York sells its machines through a national system of territorial distributorships. During the period in question here, each contract between Exercycle Corporation and the various distributors, including those of plaintiff and defendants, granted the distributor an exclusive right to sell exercycles within a specified area and each contract contained a provision similar to that of clause 11 of defendants' contract. In that clause the distributor agreed 'Not to sell Exercycles in any territory other than that assigned to him by the Company under clause 1.'

Defendants' contract, entered into on December 21, 1955, giving them the exclusive distributorship in Greater Chicago and nearby cities, was, with modifications not material here, in effect from that time until the trial. From time to time defendants were given non-exclusive rights to sell and advertise in other territories, but never in plaintiff's territory, which included the state of Michigan and the area within a fifty mile radius of Toledo, Ohio. Plaintiff's contract was in effect from October 15, 1955, until the franchise was surrendered pending suit.

There is no merit in defendants' claim that the district court lacked diversity jurisdiction. The complaint alleged that the 'amount in controversy' exceeds $10,000 and claimed damages in excess of $50,000. The actual damages found were well in excess of $10,000. St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 288, 58 S.Ct. 586, 82 L.Ed. 845 (1938); Seth v. British Overseas...

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