Capital City Garage & Tire Co v. Electric Storage Battery Co, (No. 10341.)

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtFRASER
Citation101 S.E. 838
PartiesCAPITAL CITY GARAGE & TIRE CO. v. ELECTRIC STORAGE BATTERY CO.
Docket Number(No. 10341.)
Decision Date26 January 1920

101 S.E. 838

CAPITAL CITY GARAGE & TIRE CO.
v.
ELECTRIC STORAGE BATTERY CO.

(No. 10341.)

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Jan. 26, 1920.


Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Richland County; T. S. Sease, Judge.

Action by the Capital City Garage & Tire Company against the Electric Storage Battery Company. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

Tompkins, Barnett & McDonald, of Columbia, for appellant.

Nelson & Gettys, of Columbia, for respondent.

FRASER, J. This is an action for actual and punitive damages, for a fraudulent breach of contract to grant an exclusive agency for the sale of Exide batteries in the city of Columbia. The complaint alleges a fraudulent conspiracy between the respondent and two others, to wit, the Consolidated Auto Company and the Columbia Ignition Specialty Company. The plaintiff offered to discontinue against the two latter defendants, but when a motion was made to transfer the case to the federal court, as the respondent was a foreign corporation, the appellant withdrew its offer. The case was later dismissed as to the two defendants, and the case proceeded against the respondent.

The appellant bases its claims upon two letters, one dated June 8, 1916, and one dated June 13, 1916, set out in the record, and conversations between the authorized agents of the plaintiff and the defendant. There were several letters that passed between the parties, and in order to construe them it will be necessary to consider some of the others also:

"September 28, 1915.

"Capital City Garage, 1218 Lady Street, Columbia, S. C—Gentlemen: I have your favor of the 22d instant and herewith return your copy of the contract.

"We keep a complete record of business received from our various customers, whether this business is handled on a C. O. D. or open account basis. The reasons you give to support your contention that we should place our service station contract with you are certainly good ones, but it is not entirely a question of dollars and cents with us. Of course, we make more profit on an order for a new battery to replace some other make of battery than we do on one covering repairs to one of our own batteries, but we are really more anxious to give the users of Exide batteries good service than we are to get business away from our competitors. We want to do both, which is what makes

[101 S.E. 839]

it so hard to decide between yourselves and the Consolidated Auto Company.

"Another factor which enters into the matter is that we have an agreement with the Buick Motor Company to the effect that we will give Buick agents the same discount which we give to our service station, provided such Buick agents sign a contract, live up to its terms and maintain charging and repair facilities equal to those maintained by our regularly appointed service stations.

"There is nothing in our contract which would prevent us from having two service stations in Columbia. We don't want two stations there, but, on account of our agreement with the Buick Motor Company, it is very likely that we will be obliged to do so, at least for the present.

"Yours very truly, A. N. Bentley,

"Manager Atlanta Office."

Exhibit D.

"May 5, 1916.

"Electric Storage Battery Company, Atlanta, Ga.—Gentlemen: Attention Mr. Bentley. We are forwarding you under separate cover the latest issue of the Record.

"You will note that we are giving the Exide great prominence in our spaces that we have contracted for.

"We are just about to install one of the most modern charging outfits and expect to get after this business in the future.

"We would like to have an expression of what you think of the way we are handling your line in this city.

"Thanking you for your attention, we are,

"Yours very truly,

"Capital City Garage.

"By G. R. McNeill."

Exhibit F.

"May 10, 1916.

"Capital City Garage, 1218 Lady Street, Columbia, S. C.—Gentlemen: We have your favor of May 5th and have also received the copy of the Record. We are very glad to note the prominence which you are giving the Exide battery in your advertising space.

"As the writer advised you when you were in Atlanta some time ago, we much prefer to market our starting and lighting batteries through a company which does not represent any gasoline automobile manufacturer, but at the same time our relations with the Consolidated Auto Company have always been most pleasant and of considerably longer standing than our relations with you, for which reason I have not been willing to cancel our contract with the Consolidated Auto Company without some good and reasonable ground for such cancellation. I have been hoping that you would succeed in securing the bulk of the battery business in and around Columbia, but regret to advise that you have not done so to date.

"I am very glad to note that you are about to install a modern charging outfit and that you expect to make greater efforts to get this class of business in the future. For the first four months of this year the Consolidated Auto Company has purchased approximately 65 per cent. more material from us than you have. "Yours very truly, A. N. Bentley,

"Manager Atlantic Office."

Exhibit G.

"June 8, 1916.

"Capital City Garage, Columbia, S. C—Dear Sir: Attention Mr. McNeill. Mr. Hill has returned from Atlanta and has reported to me regarding his conversation with you relative to making you our official service station in Columbia. I do not like the idea of having two official service stations in a city of the size of Columbia, but it seems to be the only solution of the problem at the present writing. Our contract with the other people will not expire until September 16th of this year, and as that contract was entered into in good faith by both parties, I do not feel that I would be justified in canceling it before it expires.

"The main difference between yourselves and the other people up to date has been that they are supplied without standard metal service station signs and you were not, but Mr. Hill reports that they never put the signs up and do not now know what has become of them. I think therefore, that the thing for us to do is to furnish you with these signs, one of which goes outside of your door and the other inside. These signs will make you our...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 practice notes
  • Allegro, Inc. v. Emmett J. Scully, Synergetic, Inc., No. 5245.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 26, 2014
    ...Inc., 292 S.C. 481, 483, 357 S.E.2d 452, 454 (1987); Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 101 S.E. 838 (1920); Benya v. Gamble, 282 S.C. 624, 627–29, 321 S.E.2d 57, 59–61 (Ct.App.1984). General contract law provides that a “ ‘contract exists when th......
  • Allegro, Inc. v. Emmett J. Scully, Synergetic, Inc., Appellate Case No. 2008-099926
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 30, 2014
    ...Inc., 292 S.C. 481, 483, 357 S.E.2d 452, 454 (1987); Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 101 S.E. 838 (1920); Benya v. Gamble, 282 S.C. 624, 627-29, 321 S.E.2d 57, 59-61 (Ct. App. 1984). General contract law provides that a "'contract exists w......
  • Stevens & Wilkinson of S.C., Inc. v. City of Columbia, Paul C. “bo” Aughtry Iii, Windsor/Aughtry Co., No. 27434.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 20, 2014
    ...establish a contract, the question becomes one of law. Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 362, 101 S.E. 838, 841 (1920). A valid and enforceable contract requires a meeting of the minds between the parties with regard to all essential and material......
  • Handmaker v. Certusbank, N.A., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:15-CV-129-TBR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • September 27, 2016
    ...Inc. v. City of Columbia, 762 S.E.2d 696, 701 (S.C. 2014) (citing Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 101 S.E. 838, 841 (S.C. 1920)). Because the Court finds that both parties have presented evidence regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of a meeting of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Allegro, Inc. v. Emmett J. Scully, Synergetic, Inc., No. 5245.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 26, 2014
    ...Indus., Inc., 292 S.C. 481, 483, 357 S.E.2d 452, 454 (1987); Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 101 S.E. 838 (1920); Benya v. Gamble, 282 S.C. 624, 627–29, 321 S.E.2d 57, 59–61 (Ct.App.1984). General contract law provides that a “ ‘contract exists whe......
  • Allegro, Inc. v. Emmett J. Scully, Synergetic, Inc., Appellate Case No. 2008-099926
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 30, 2014
    ...Indus., Inc., 292 S.C. 481, 483, 357 S.E.2d 452, 454 (1987); Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 101 S.E. 838 (1920); Benya v. Gamble, 282 S.C. 624, 627-29, 321 S.E.2d 57, 59-61 (Ct. App. 1984). General contract law provides that a "'contract exists wh......
  • Stevens & Wilkinson of S.C., Inc. v. City of Columbia, Paul C. “bo” Aughtry Iii, Windsor/Aughtry Co., No. 27434.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 20, 2014
    ...not establish a contract, the question becomes one of law. Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 113 S.C. 352, 362, 101 S.E. 838, 841 (1920). A valid and enforceable contract requires a meeting of the minds between the parties with regard to all essential and material......
  • Handmaker v. Certusbank, N.A., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:15-CV-129-TBR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • September 27, 2016
    ...Carolina, Inc. v. City of Columbia, 762 S.E.2d 696, 701 (S.C. 2014) (citing Capital City Garage & Tire Co. v. Elec. Storage Battery Co., 101 S.E. 838, 841 (S.C. 1920)). Because the Court finds that both parties have presented evidence regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of a meeting o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT