358 F.2d 813 (2nd Cir. 1966), 103, Royal School Laboratories, Inc. v. Town of Watertown

Docket Nº:103, 104, 29706, 29799.
Citation:358 F.2d 813
Party Name:ROYAL SCHOOL LABORATORIES, INC., Appellee, v. TOWN OF WATERTOWN and Classen P. Perkins, Appellants. TOWN OF WATERTOWN, Appellant. v. NEW ENGLAND MERCHANTS NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON and Royal School Laboratories, Inc., Appellees.
Case Date:March 14, 1966
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 813

358 F.2d 813 (2nd Cir. 1966)

ROYAL SCHOOL LABORATORIES, INC., Appellee,

v.

TOWN OF WATERTOWN and Classen P. Perkins, Appellants.

TOWN OF WATERTOWN, Appellant.

v.

NEW ENGLAND MERCHANTS NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON and Royal School Laboratories, Inc., Appellees.

Nos. 103, 104, 29706, 29799.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

March 14, 1966

Argued Oct. 28, 1965.

Page 814

Philip R. Shiff, New Haven, Conn., for appellants Town of Watertown, Classen P. Perkins.

Arnold J. Bai, Bridgeport, Conn. (David Goldstein, Robert S. Cooper), Bridgeport, Conn., for appellee Royal School Laboratories, Inc.

Donald Lee Rome, Hartford, Conn., for appellee New England Merchants Nat. Bank of Boston.

Before LUMBARD, Chief Judge, and FRIENDLY and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

FRIENDLY, Circuit Judge:

Late in 1962 Classen P. Perkins, Chairman of the School Building Committee of the Town of Watertown, signed an agreement with Twombly Associates, Inc., a Massachusetts corporation, for the furnishing and installation of science laboratory equipment and furniture for the new town high school. The total contract price was $59,628.62. Notwithstanding a statutory requirement that a bond be obtained to protect materialmen, 1 Perkins did not request and Twombly did not furnish such a bond. Thereafter Twombly engaged Royal School Laboratories, Inc., a corporation organized and having its principal place of business in Virginia, to supply equipment and furniture valued by the latter at $48,118. Royal delivered the goods, which are now in the school, but received only 10% Of its bill. Twombly became insolvent and never paid the balance of $43,307. The Town admitted an obligation to pay for the material and labor but, confronted by conflicting claims of the materialman and an assignee of the contractor, refused to pay either until the dispute was resolved.

Royal thereupon sued the Town and Perkins in the District Court for Connecticut, in quasi-contract for the unpaid price of the equipment supplied, and in tort for breach of a statutory duty to secure a bond from Twombly. The assignee of Twombly, New England Merchants National Bank of Boston, sued the Town in the same court for the contract price of $59,626.62 as 'justly due and owing' for work performed by the contractor.

Page 815

The two actions precipitated a rain of motions. Before the New England Bank's suit was commenced, the Town and Perkins together and Perkins individually had moved to dismiss Royal's action on the merits, and Royal had moved for summary judgment against them. Thereafter the defendants filed separate motions to consolidate Royal's action with the bank's, to postpone the hearing on Royal's summary judgment motion, and for leave to deposit $58,670.55 into court on condition that they be discharged from liability to all concerned; later they counterclaimed for interpleader and filed a motion for a stay of all proceedings pending a determination of the interpleader claim. In the New England Bank suit, the Town also moved separately for consolidation and for leave to deposit, and filed a similar counterclaim for interpleader and a motion for a stay.

Judge Zampano denied the Town's claim for interpleader and granted Royal's motion for summary judgment, awarding a recovery of $43,307 in quasicontract and tort against the Town and Perkins. 236 F.Supp. 950 (1965). 2 Recognizing that 'initially it might appear appropriate to grant the interpleader,' the judge concluded that the contentions between Royal and the defendants 'present independent and distinct claims from those of the bank * * * and...

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